KARACHI: The staff of Karachi Development Authority (KDA) shut down the offices in Civic Centre on Monday to protest the non-payment of their salaries for the past three months.
The protesting employees closed the main gates, put off the lights and removed the nameplates from the offices of KDA director-general (DG) and land director.
Employees said that until their salaries are paid, they will not let official matters be carried out. Some of the employees even threatened to commit suicide.
According to sources, the salaries for the last three months have not been released following which, the employees' union, officers' association and labour unions have been holding protests on a daily basis.
On Monday however, members of the labour union broke down the door of the land director's office and removed the nameplate labelled, 'Director Land Asif Memon'. Protesters said that since Memon had taken office, KDA's recovery had decreased which has led to the financial crisis and non-payment of their salaries. The protesters tried to enter the recovery department where they got into a scuffle with other employees.
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The protest was held on the call of the labour union. The Civic Centre was shut down and electricity was suspended which essentially suspended work. Using a loudspeaker, the protesters kept telling people to stop all work. They managed to take control of the Civic Centre for a few hours.
Leaders of labour union said that KDA has never faced a financial crisis as the one they are facing now. They said that it had become difficult to manage their expenses and run their homes. They added that medical facility has been withdrawn and the children of employees were being suspended from schools due to non-payment of fees. They said that they would continue to protest until their salaries were paid.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, one employee appealed to the local bodies minister to issue their salaries. "If salaries aren't released, I will commit suicide," he said.
A member of the finance department, Agha Pervaiz, has assured that salaries will be paid today (Tuesday).
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2019.
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