The technical staff of the Mirpur Electricity Department staged a number of protest demonstrations on Wednesday to press the government to increase their salaries.
The employees boycotted their duties by locking their office rooms and took out processions from outside the electricity department’s office complex. They marched on various avenues across the city, raising slogans against the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government and demanding that their service structure be upgraded. They also demanded that they be paid the same amount of salaries given to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) technical staff.
The protesting employees converged at the District Court premises, where speakers such as Muhammad Akram Mughal, Sayed Qaiser Shiraz Kazmi, Liaqat Qureshi, and Tariq Malik called for an immediate increase in their salaries. They also demanded dearness allowances owing to the continued price-hike. They maintained that Rs1.3 billion is needed to upgrade the service structure of the department’s technical staff. The procession was taken out under the leadership of Non-gazetted Employees Union President Chaudhry Gulzar Ali, Senior Vice-President Sardar Shapal Khan, Secretary General Majid Beg, among others.
Similar demonstrations were also staged in other cities.
The employees have already sent their seven-point charter of demands to the AJK government. They had earlier announced to hold pen-down strikes if their demands were not met by June 12.
Due to the strike, electricity consumers visiting offices of the local electricity department were turned back and complaints remained unregistered.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.
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