Power shutdown: Textile millers plan widespread protests

Say millions of industry workers will take to streets.

Owais Jafri December 25, 2012
“We are planning to bring two million wage earners, who work on day-to-day basis, on to streets from all over the country,” says Khawaja.PHOTO: FILE

MULTAN: The textile industry has announced that it will launch massive protests across the country against worsening and unbearable electricity and gas crisis that has brought the industry to its knees.

The protest drive, during which millions of industry workers will take to the streets, will include demonstrations in front of headquarters of all power supplying companies.

Talking to The Express Tribune, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) chief for South Punjab chapter Anis Khawaja declared that their patience had run out and they could not bear continuous electricity and gas outages for two to three days without any schedule.

Around 11 million workers of the textile industry were affected by unscheduled power and gas cuts, he said.

“We want to show through demonstrations that playing politics with the industrial sector will trigger unrest in the country. If millions of workers are affected in a single day, this will disturb lives of 25 million people,” said Khawaja, who is also the director of Mehmood Textile Group.

He blamed lack of planning on the part of government for the continuous and unresolved energy crisis in the country.

If a decision over the month-long power shutdown is not taken back by Thursday, he said, then “the industry will see how the government reacts to widespread protests on Friday.”

“We are planning to bring two million wage earners, who work on day-to-day basis, on to streets from all over the country.”

Peaceful protests, led by leaders of APTMA, would be organised in front of all offices of Sui gas companies, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) as well as the water and power ministry, Khawaja said.

According to him, businessmen from other industries and representatives of trade associations will also join in the protests.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.



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