Pakistan Reports Workers' Movement

Nationwide Protests Against Privatisation and Retrenchment of Pakistan Steel Mills

By Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC)

On June 3rd, the federal “Economic Coordination Committee” approved the orders for the privatisation and forced displacement of 9350 workers of Pakistan Steel Mills. Against this step, on June 4th, Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) has launched a nationwide campaign in solidarity with the Pakistan Steel Mills workers. The struggle against layoffs and privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills continues. In addition to the social media campaign, PTUDC has organised nationwide protests in solidarity with Pakistan Steel Mills’ workers, the details of which are as follows:

Islamabad

On 6th June, PTUDC, Railway Labour Union, and Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills workers organised a protest against the privatisation and displacement of Steel Mills. It was also attended by People’s Unity PIA, Revolutionary Students Front (RSF), Stores Corporation Workers Union CBA, Awami Workers Party, Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) and a huge number of workers.

The speakers said that the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf government has taken a U-turn from its promises and has adopted the policy of privatisation on the dictates of IMF. This policy is nothing than the Socio-Economic murder of workers and their families and we’ll continue to struggle against their imperialist agendas. The speakers included Awais Qarni of RSF, Changez Malik of PTUDC and others.

Lahore

On 6th June, PTUDC and Haqooq e Khalq Movement organised a protest in solidarity with the Steel Mills’ Workers. It was attended by people from different professions. At the start, one minute of silence was observed in solidarity with those protesting in Balochistan for justice for Bramash. Tahira Habib Jalib recited one her father’s (Habib Jalib) poems in solidarity with those in Balochistan, “Wake up Punjab”, to urge Punjabi proletariat to stand for Balochis.

While addressing the protestors the speakers said that due to the negligence, nepotism and corruption of the administrative bureaucracy the public institutions are in a situation of decay, and now they are being privatised to quench the thirst for private profits. The government must make these bureaucrats accountable and stop the transfer of public institutions to private mafias. Furthermore, they said that today we need to rebuild the workers’ movement to fight against this oppression. The speakers included Ammar Ali Jan, Zahid Ali and Rashid Butt from HKM, and Umar Shahid from PTUDC.

Hyderabad

On 5th June, PTUDC organised a protest against the displacement of 9350 Steel Mills’ workers, which was also attended by APCA, NADRA employees union, Treet Corporation Employees Union, Railway Workers’ Union, Unemployed Youth Movement (BNT), RSF, and several other trade union leaders and students. The protest was led by the Provincial Secretary PTUDC Advocate Nisar Ahmad Chandio.

While addressing the protestors Nisar Chandio said the privatisation of Steel Mills is a grave issue and this reflects the incompetence of this government. The protestors condemned this decision by the government and demanded the workers to be reinstated and an end to the policy of privatisation. PTUDC and the workers made a solemn vow to stand with the Steel Mills’ workers across Pakistan and struggle for their rights. Meral Bhargari, Raza Khan Swati, Aesar Das, Aziz Khoso, Niaz Khaskheli, Muneer Chokhio, Jai Prakash and others spoke to the protestors and endorsed their demands.

Khairpur Mirus

PTUDC and United Labour Federation organised a protest in front of press club the protest in solidarity with Steel Mills’ Workers, in which workers chanted slogans against the government policies and in solidarity with workers. They said that taking the jobs from workers during this pandemic is, in simple terms, a Socio-Economic slaughter.

Tando Allahyar

On 7th June, PTUDC, in collaboration with Government School Teachers Association, BNT, and workers and students of different institutes organised a protest in solidarity with the Steel Mill workers. Partosham, organiser PTUDC Mirpur Khas, Muhammad Hussain and Doctor Abdul Ghafoor spoke to the protesters and demanded an end to the policy of privatisation and safeguard of employment for the workers.

Mirpur Bhatoro

PTUDC organised a protest in solidarity with Steel Mill Workers. Jabbar Zunwar, Comrade Sikandar and Ghani spoke to the protestors.

Bhaan Syedabad

On 4th June, PTUDC and BNT organised a protest outside the Press Club. Anwar Panhwar, Provincial President PTUDC, Shah Muhammad Panhwar, Iqbal Memon, Sajjad Gutchal, Sajjad Shahani and Ali Sher Brohi spoke to the protestors. They said the Golden Handshake to the Steel Workers by the federal government is inadequate and unacceptable. They also pointed out that the workers haven’t received their pensions for the last 5 years. They also condemned the policy of privatisation and demanded that the workers be immediately called back to their jobs.

Faisalabad

On June 10th, PTUDC, Labour Quami Movement and Awami Workers Party organised a protest outside the Regional Labour Welfare Office Faisalabad in solidarity with the Steel Mills workers and also for the upcoming annual budget by the federal government.

Faisalabad: PTUDC, Labour Qomi Movement and Awami Workers Party joint protest against retrenchment of Pakistan Steel Mills workers.#Revive_PakSteelMills #notopsmretrenchment

Posted by Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign on Wednesday, 10 June 2020

A Charter of Demand was presented at the labour office. The protestors strongly condemned the policy of privatisation adopted at the imperialist dictates of IMF and chanted slogans against IMF, Privatisation, unemployment, inflation and in solidarity with steel workers and for a fair workers’ friendly budget.

 

Quetta

PTUDC and Martin Dow Marker Workers Union held a protest in front of the press club which was attended by workers and students. Ali Raza Mangol of Paramedical Staff Association, Manzoor Baloch of Dow Marker Workers Union, Mama Salam Baloch of Pakistan Workers Federation and Nazar Mengal, Central Chairman PTUDC, spoke to the protestors.

They criticised the failure of the government to stand by its promise of providing 10 million jobs, and the layoff of about 10 thousand of Steel Workers in a just a day. They demand an end to the policy of privatisation and reinstatement of workers.

Dadu

On 9th June, PTUDC and BNT organised a protest in solidarity with the Steel Mills Workers. Protestors chanted slogans “No to Privatisation”, “No to the Layoff of Steel Workers”, “No to IMF”. Muriel Panhwer, District President PTUDC, Aijaz Bhagio, Hanif Misrani and Saddam Khaskheli from BNT said that the Pakistan Steel Mill is one the most significant parts of our economy and the government is trying to destroy it, and we refuse this despotism.

Sehwan

PTUDC and BNT organised a protest against the layoff of 9350 workers of Pakistan Steel Mills. Anwar Panhwer, Provincial President PTUDC, Sikandar Otho of BNT, Muharram Otho, Peasant leader, and Aarib Mallah addressed the protestors and condemned the government’s actions. They also said that the negligent and corrupt bureaucracy should be replaced instead of the workers.

Thari Mirwah

PTUDC and BNT organised a protest outside the press club in which Sharjeel, Naseem Ejaz and Zafar condemned the state policies and expressed solidarity with the Workers.

Rahimyar Khan

The steel mill should be run to save 4 billion dollars in terms of foreign reserves. The privatisation of steel mills is a conspiracy against the people, the workers must be called back to their jobs. These were the thoughts expressed by Qamar-uz-Zaman Khan, Central Secretary PTUDC, Raees Tariq, Nadeem Malik, Khalid Bhabar, Mohsin Saeed, Syed Husnain Shah, Umer Rasheed, Umair Bhatti, Umair Dahir, Abu Bakr, Syed Mubashar Gilani of Professors and Lecturers Association, Hazoor Bakhsh Tabish, Sanaullah, Kirbani Baloch and Asif Bullo. Protestors also chanted slogans against privatisation and IMF.

Jampur

A rally was organised in solidarity with Pakistan Steel Mills workers, which was attended by workers, students and peasants. Rauf Lund of PTUDC said that behind the privatisation of steel mills is the private mill mafia in collaboration with the government and we strongly condemn this action.

Multan

On 9th June, PTUDC organised a protest in front of the press club. Nadeem Pasha Advocate, Regional Organiser PTUDC, Zeeshan Shehzad, Malik Bashir of People’s Labour Bureau Punjab, Masood Gujjar of Punjab Teachers’ Union, Shakeel Malik, Ishaq, Ashiq Bhatta, Junaid, Shahzaib, Ahmad Sulehri and Aasim Khan addressed the protestors and condemned the neoliberal policies adopted by the government on the dictates of IMF. Furthermore, they said that these policies are tyrannical and are destroying Pakistan’s economy, they must immediately be dismissed.

Sialkot

PTUDC organised a protest outside the press club in collaboration with PTCL pensioners Association, Professors and Lecturers Association, Revolutionary Students Front and factory workers. Tauqeer of PTCLPA and Nasir Butt Advocate, President PTUDC Sialkot, spoke to the protestors and condemned the neoliberal policies being implemented by the government. They demanded an end to the policy of privatisation and IMF.

Attock

PTUDC and People’s Labour Bureau organised a protest against privatisation and displacement of Pakistan Steel Mills workers. The protestors were addressed by Changez Malik, Central Organiser PTUDC, Siraj Khatak, District President People’s Labour Bureau and they condemned the neoliberal policies being implemented by the government.

Pakistan held Kashmir

Several protests were held against the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills and retrenchment of its 9530 workers in different parts of Pakistan held Kashmir on the call of PTUDC and Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF).

Muzaffarabad

On 9th June, The protestors asked for an immediate end to the policy of privatisation and reinstatement of workers to their jobs. Naveed Ishaq, President PTUDC Kashmir, Tariq Chugtai, Murawwat Rathore, Vice President JKNSF and others spoke to the protestors.

Rawalakot

PTUDC and JKNSF organised a protest in Khaigala, Rawalakot which was addressed by Abrar Latif, Central President JKNSF, Jannat Hussain of PTUDC and others who demanded that the workers to be called back to their jobs immediately and all the agreements with IMF be immediately dismissed.

Khaigala, Kashmir: Solidarity protest with Pakistan Steel Mills workers by JKNSF and PTUDC.#NoToPSMRetrenchment#ReviveSteelMills

Posted by Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign on Monday, 8 June 2020

 

Palandri

PTUDC and Teachers’ organization organised a protest. Saad Nasir spoke to the protestors.

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