GUJRANWALA/ MULTAN/ FAISALABAD:
Power distribution workers in several cities including Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Multan took out protests on Tuesday against potential privatisation of the power sector and appointment of non-technical persons as the CEOs of power distribution companies.
FESCO employees observed a tools down strike and locked out the headquarters and other regional offices. They were joined by the All-Pakistan Power Engineers Association, FESCO Engineers Association and the Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labor Union.
A camp was set up outside the FESCO headquarters where several rallies converged.
The rally was addressed by All Pakistan Power Engineers Association President Ghazanfar Ali Khan Baloch, FESCO Engineers Association General Secretary Mujahid Pervaiz Chattha, Wapda Hydro Electric Union Regional Secretary Mian Rasheed, Rana Ghulam Jaffar, Masood Salahuddin, Engineer Bashir Gujjar and Saeed Raza.
They said work including the recovery of dues, billing, redress of complaints and installation of new electricity connections will remain suspended until their demands were met.
They said that the government had appointed a non-engineer as Chief Executive Officer for QESCO in violation of verbal assurances given to PEPCO engineers and employees.
They demanded that the government immediately withdraw its decision and given written assurance that no such appointment will be made again.
In Multan, the MEPCO Hydro labor union and engineers welfare association protested before the MEPCO office and announced boycott of work for three days.
“We will disconnect electricity to all regions in southern Punjab if our demands are not met in three days,” union leaders said.
A similar protest was observed in Gujrawala region by GEPCO employees.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.