Power struggle: Pegham Union stages sit-in for PESCO employees

Published: February 8, 2013

PESCO employees protests to end shoulder promotions. PHOTO: FILE

PESCO employees protests to end shoulder promotions. PHOTO: FILE  Demands authorities to end shoulder promotions.

PESHAWAR: Employees of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) staged a sit-in in front of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) office on Thursday.

The demonstration was held under the banner of Pegham Union, which is the newly-elected Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA).

Led by the union’s chairman Arbab Iltaf, the employees blamed authorities for shoulder promotions and rewarding blue-eyed employees by overlooking deserving ones.

Iltaf said the union has chalked out a plan to address the grievances of employees by keeping in constant touch with Pesco authorities. He said it has already asked the company’s chief to do away with shoulder promotions, adding that certain deserving employees were waiting for promotions since years.

Iltaf maintained a hospital and school should be built in every circle of the company. “Pesco works in six circles in the province, including Peshawar, Khyber, Mardan, Hazara, Swat and Bannu. But there is only one school and hospital, which are in Peshawar. These are not able to cater to the needs of Pesco employees and their families.”

The union’s general secretary, Asghar Khattak said certain decisions made by Pesco officials have yet to see the light of day. He cited the example of the 40% allowance for those serving in sensitive areas which is not being accorded to employees of the Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco).

The 33% job quota for the offspring of Pesco employees who died during service is also not being implemented, added Khattak.

Pegham Union is currently in a tussle with the Hydro-Electric Central Labour Union (HECLU) over the status of CBA. Both unions are trying to attract employees by staging protests and demonstrations.

Two weeks earlier, HECLU also organised a protest at the Wapda House and demanded a referendum be held to determine who will be the CBA.

Pegham Union was elected as the CBA after the Islamabad High Court ruled in its favour. Consequently, National Industrial Relation Commission issued a CBA certificate authorising it to work for protecting the rights of Wapda employees.

Participants of the sit-in later dispersed peacefully.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2013.

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