LAHORE: Members of the Railways Workers Union (CBA) Workshop held a protest to demand promotions and service upgradations for diploma-holding engineers and Class-IV railway employees in Lahore on Thursday. The protesters gathered outside the Mughalpura superintendent’s office, carrying banners and placards. The railway union leaders, including president Sakhi Khan, general secretary Rana Saleem and others addressed the protesters, calling for an end to the privatisation of Pakistan Railways and oppression of workers. They also demanded that the railways administration end the 5% salary deduction for housing services. While addressing the workers, Sakhi Khan said the dignity and morale of workers was on a decline as 30 years of austerity and anti-labour practices in Pakistan Railways had left the once vibrant and dynamic institution, in the doldrums. He said Railways Minister Saad Rafique had been quoted as saying that the era of attempted-privatisation had ended. However, the railways administration formed an undercover regime of privatisation and kept pressing for anti-labour policies such as a permanent freeze on new hiring and promotions, he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2018.