Workers of Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) have threatened to self-immolate if their contracts are not renewed by August 4.
They demanded they be paid their salaries by that date. They have been waiting to be paid for three months. The employees staged a sit-in protest outside the main gate of TIP for over an hour, bringing traffic on Khanpur-Taxila Road to a halt.
The government issued a circular in February, asking all ministries, state-owned enterprises and government departments not to renew contracts after March 31.
Officials at TIP Haripur who did not want to be named said that after the letter was issued, the ministry of information technology issued a final order to their management on March 14, instructing it to implement the prime minister’s directives otherwise funding would be suspended.
The protesters marched to the TIP gate where they chanted slogans against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, saying it had stripped around 800 families of their livelihood. The demonstrators pointed out that some employees had served the company for up to 30 years and kept working in the hope that their services would be regularised. Instead of rewarding these employees for their loyalty, the PML-N government had decided to sack them, they said.
Tahir Sharif, Raja Khalid, Sajjad Pir and Khalid Mehmood Khalidi were among those who took part in the sit-in.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.