Taking exception: HEC workers threaten to protest privatisation

'The fate of 250 workers who have been serving for 20 years hangs in the balance as a result'


Our Correspondent April 07, 2015

HARIPUR:


Objecting to the privatisation of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) Hattar without protecting workers’ rights, their representatives have threatened to protest the decision.


Speaking to the media on Monday, Labour Rights Movement President Tahir Amin, accompanied by members of the representative body of HEC workers Arif Hussain Shah and Sheraz Rafique, said the government privatised the HEC without following the procedure of bidding and ensuring rights of workers.

Amin said according to the balance sheet of December 2014, the total value of HEC’s assets stood at Rs1.64 billion, but the government sold it for Rs500 million. He urged the government to take action and save the nation’s wealth by annulling the privatisation.

Amin maintained the new owner was likely to take over the industry in the next few days, but the administration has yet to share the conditions applicable on HEC workers.

He added that under the labour laws, workers have the right to full termination benefits which include payment of gratuity in addition to payment against pending annual, medical and casual leaves.

He lamented the government has not yet announced the package in case workers are asked to opt for the Voluntary Separation Scheme or Golden Handshake. Amin said the fate of 250 workers who have been serving for 20 years hangs in the balance as a result.

Amin threatened to protest against the government and new administration if job security was not ensured along with complete benefits under the relevant labour laws.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2015.

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