Sacked employees attack KESC office

Published: January 20, 2011
Former employees of KESC take to the streets of Karachi in protest. PHOTO: Nefer Sehgal

Former employees of KESC take to the streets of Karachi in protest. PHOTO: Nefer Sehgal

Former employees of KESC take to the streets of Karachi in protest. PHOTO: Nefer Sehgal Screenshot of the the workers attacking the KESC office in Karachi.

KARACHI: Dismissed employees of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) staged a protest in Karachi on Thursday against their lay-offs.

They attacked the KESC office near Defence Phase 4, demanding their immediate reinstatement. Angry employees damaged the office property and other KESC personnel.

Speaking to Express 24/7 after the attack on the KESC office, KESC spokesperson Ayesha Eirabie said that following today’s incident, there was no room for negotiation. “Now, we would not even try and listen to what the union has to say.”

She said the situation had been created by the union, accusing them of trying to destroy the company’s property, of assaulting its employees and of trying to disrupt its operations.

KESC laid off over 4,000 workers on Wednesday, under a cost-cutting drive to make the utility financially viable.

A company press release put it as the “elimination of a number of its [KESC’s] non-core and redundant functions”.

KESC Spokesperson, Ayesha Eirabie told a private TV channel that these employees were offered a golden handshake.

Eirabie claims they were offered to take their retirement voluntarily however, they declined it.

The fired employees include sanitary workers, security guards, bill distributors, attendants and drivers. The company announced that non-core office jobs have been outsourced. At the same time, other positions such as petrol pump attendant, office time keeper, junior office attendant, daftari and typist have been abolished.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Jan 20, 2011 - 1:27PM

    KESC must reduce the salaries and perquisites of the high flying executives who do the planning and designing of the corporate affairs. And who should be more active in supervising their lower staff to implement their policies effectively.

    This is no way to treat honest and hard working poor people. The culprits who rob and cheat can be dispensed with but not the lower category of staff. With inflation in double-digits, this is like asking someone to commit crimes and suicide.


    Salams for 2011.Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2011 - 1:48PM

    i do not why down seizing always start from lower salaries employ . as i read there mostly guards , sweeper and meter reader and i am sure salaries of 100 lower employ is not greater then 1 director or consultant type top boss who were appoint for political obligation . its mean kesc need sack only 40 big salaries instead of 4000 .Recommend

  • funny
    Jan 20, 2011 - 1:50PM

    hard working and honest? Give me a break- From personal experience, i can tell you that most of these people wouldnt recognise hard work even if it were staring them in the face- Most of those laid off were excess employees who were simply a drain on the organization. Why should the KESC, a private organization, cater to more people than it needs? And then we cry about no electricity, lack of distribution, and what not. When they try to cut down the fat, you ask them to cut off the head. Silly.Recommend

  • nasir
    Jan 20, 2011 - 2:27PM

    too many people were recruited in kese on political basis and destroyed it, now if new manangement wants to reduce the staff whats wrong iwth it.pakistan steel mill also got so many thousands extra staff wich is not needed but they have been recruited on political basis and they are burdon on psm.all govt interprises shud b privitize coz these political parties bring their workers in these organization even if they not needed.kesc manageent got the right to sack all extra staff.everywhere in the world organizations sack staff to reduce cost .

  • Noor
    Jan 20, 2011 - 3:12PM

    I think KESC, as a private entity, has the legal right to lay off employees.

    Violence is not the way forward.

    The government/state shall create jobs for the 4,000 laid workers and make them active economic actors, rather than violent, docile, consumersRecommend

  • SK
    Jan 20, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Had to be done. Like most government institutions one could well imagine scores of people who are employed there for no reason what so ever. In order to bring it back to shape one needs to take such measures. And your high flying managers are needed there or else the company even on the management front would only attract good for nothing people with very little knowledge of how to run a company.Recommend

  • Usman Mirza
    Jan 20, 2011 - 4:06PM

    Agree with funny, political appointees most of them, and its not like they were terminated without notice, they were all given a volunatry separation scheme which gave a MINIMUM amount of 7laks, whereas most would get well over 2 or 3 million. If they decided not to take this lucrative option then it was their choice.

    Please remember it is NOT the governments job to “give” jobs, it is the governments job to create an enviorment which is conducive for doing business so private enterprises grow thereby creating jobs.

    Now that KESC has been privatized (an excellent step I must say – and no I don’t work there and yes I also have loadshedding) the company needs to be managed and run on professional terms so that things can be improved.

    Money needs to be spent on improving infrastructure and not paying the salaries and medical bills of 4000 non-core employees (Drivers, tea-boys, e.t.c) I mean come on how many do you need ????

    As far as senior management goes, as the saying goes you pay peanuts and you get monkeys, the people working at KESC have left high paying jobs elsewhere and working under tough and challenging conditions. They would not do so unless they were compensated properly which justifies their high salaries. Remember compensation is based on the value someone adds to the company which is why a manual laborer is paid 200 a day whereas a CEO is paid 20000+ a day.

    Im a big believer in the statement pay peanuts and get monkeys.

    KESC was converted into a PIA / PSM by the Govt and is the reason the company is the way it is right now. Recommend

  • Ammar hasan
    Jan 20, 2011 - 4:26PM

    Mr funny, I second you on that. We should look at the companies financial standings before we make all these emotional remarks. the company must have taken this measure due to a very valid and solid reason. No one would like to kick out 4000 ppl just like that. Recommend

  • Danish
    Jan 20, 2011 - 5:26PM

    whoever is recommending sacking the top management instead of the lower staff has got be kidding. these are the fruits of poilitically motivated hiring, no one complains when incompetent people are being hired at the expense of tax payers money just to strengthen a certain party’s vote bank. now since it’s a privatised company, the shareholders have a right to cut costs and leakages in the system. Most of these low-income employees are making millions putting up illegal ‘kunda’ systems and colluding with dishonest consumers in meter tampering. i hope this mafia is sacked forever, hopefully it will help in imporving the company’s performance.Recommend

  • Syed Tariq Javed
    Jan 20, 2011 - 6:40PM

    I second comments made by SK.Recommend

  • hassan
    Jan 20, 2011 - 7:24PM

    Meter reading Employees.. honest!…

    The most corrupt … fire them all!Recommend

  • Feroze
    Jan 20, 2011 - 8:03PM

    Kesc is a privately owned company. As long as they follow the law and offer the employees severance pay etc they can fire who ever they want. They are not a welfare organisation. The union leaders who organised the ransacking of the office and assault on other employees are the ones who should be taken to task.Recommend

  • Azhar
    Jan 21, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Take an eye on internal reasons.

    Dear supporters’ of down sizing kindly will you elaborate that if you have a single person the head of the family working for 22 to 25 years for this Organization then management decide to redundant him from job as that person came from his job then what you say? The managing director of K.E.S.C. is getting per month 4500,000/= per month. Why he can’t reduce his salary? Similar to these post there are two thousands of officer getting salaries in Lac’s. Who give them authority to sale companies assets to make there salaries. Why they not redundant? If you all don’t Know the basic reason and internal environment of the company. Then you have no right to Comment on this issue. Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jan 21, 2011 - 1:42AM

    KESC is a private business not an employment agency. we must understand this. Good decision to sack the corrupt employees.Recommend

  • right
    Jan 21, 2011 - 2:47AM

    KESC offered all individuals a golden handshake. If individuals are being offered a package to compensate for all their future salaries (till time of retirement) together with other benefits, i dont see why an HONEST employee would decline this offer. They declined these offers because they were ripping the company off with overtime, bribery on the basis of being kesc employees and unnecessary increments.I mean a minimum of 7 lakhs would give any individual the opportunity to invest in a small shop, a van for work, etc.

    I am very glad these individuals were removed, and i hope none of them are reinstated.Recommend

  • Jan 21, 2011 - 5:26AM

    KESC was well within its rights to let people go…n from what reports suggest – they were offered a good severance package as well which they refused to take…i hope the management stays firm in the face of political pressure to reinstate these employees…Recommend

  • Naeem Siddiqui,Australia
    Jan 21, 2011 - 7:47AM

    This behaviour from Sacked employee is unacceptable; violence in any case must have zero tolerance.

    Here in Australia, The Queens Land Government privatized ‘QR Nationals’ which cause the layoff of 1200 employees, people did protest on streets but they did not behaved like the way these KESC sacked employees are behaving.

    Austerity measures are going on all over the world; this is not only the case in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Asif Comboh
    Jan 21, 2011 - 1:48PM

    That was the need of time, it is totally a right decision and is in the best interest of public at large and country as well……………….others facing same problem have to follow.

    If employees have good skill set or competency then defenitey no need to worry, get another job.Recommend

  • Azhar
    Jan 21, 2011 - 11:57PM


    offered a package to compensate for all their future salaries (till time of retirement) together with other benefits, i don’t see why an HONEST employee would decline this offer.

    Dear this information is not true. I am the victim of this policy. There are just 5 lac for the whole which company will include to there provident fund amount. No any benefit compensation no further future salary. Just 5 lac. and i am sure that if you have 11 year job remaining so you will also don’t accept this offer. 5 lac really don’t worth in current economic situation.

    If i abuse you so i am sorry but where you don’t know the full situation you should not comment about that.Recommend

  • Sajjad
    Jan 22, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Dear All!!

    Saying is one thing and feeling the pain is another!!!!!! I have a question to all the people who support this lay off. Has any one of you faced this situation yourself? and facing this situation after 2 to 3 years of work at an ordinary firm is lesser painful than working for more than 10 to 15 years at KESC and then getting laid off. Mind you, KESC was one huge Corporation of Pakistan before getting privitized. This is not some Grocery store, or Resturant of US, UK or Australia that you work for a month and get kicked out. Atleast if you cant show empathy with our borthers and sisters who got laid off, do not make such comments. In Pakistan, Not all of us are competent and the level of workers which has been asked to leave is peon, driver, and the likes. Do you all think that 4000 people with thier families attached to them will get jobs that easily and that too in Karachi.

    Call me emotional, illogical or whatever, but atleast prove that you are humans first and then talk about financials, feasibilities, costs and the CUTS etc.

    May God help all of them and also keep the jobs of the people intact whoever gave selfish comments on this forum.

    Best Regards

    A true Pakistani and a proud Karachite!!!!!!Recommend

  • aahmed
    Jan 22, 2011 - 9:24PM

    Agree with funny. These are the people who are lazy and steal. Why should a private enterprise put up with that!!!!!Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 23, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Strange comments by people here. KESC should keep these in-competent and political assigned employees for emotional reason and also they may not get a job in Karachi. With this kind of reasoning no company will be profitable soon and no foreign company would ever want to invest in Pakistan. Rs 5 Lac , for lower staff like drivers and meter readers is pretty good. Average Salary of a driver is like Rs 10,000 x 12= 120,000 x 5 = Rs 6 Lac. A person getting his salary for 6 years today and mind it this is the minimum being offered. Whatever the case ENOUGH IS ENOUGH all our state companies need to fire all people hired based on Political Reasons, and become profitable and STOP being a drain to the government and ultimately to all the people of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jan 24, 2011 - 1:35AM

    Dear All,

    Please refer to the latest news regarding the restoration of the sacked employees. Its a shame that most of you were favoring this act by KESC Management. Going forward ’empathy’ is something which you all need to demonstrate as I think that all 4000 people cannot be useless for an organization. I thank the government as well as MQM management for thier sincerety. God bless all these people and specially our poor nation.


    Sajjad Recommend

  • Jan 24, 2011 - 10:07AM

    KESC did the right thing. They are in depts. they need to pay tons of money to wapda. most of the employees are just sitting there and doing nothngRecommend

  • Asim
    Jan 24, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Well, now all the employees are back at their jobs so KESC decision, well what can i say. Plus, we all don’t know what KESC has arranged at the back end with the Government, may higher tariff’s for all its consumers. ONLY TIME WILL TELL.Recommend

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