Union action: APCA group calls off protest saying talks were successful

Sanaullah says govt will only accept demands it considers reasonable


Akbar Bajwa May 12, 2015
Former Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. PHOTO: ZAHOORUL HAQ

LAHORE:
Members of Haji Irshad’s group, on behalf of the All Pakistan Clerks Association Punjab chapter, called off a pens-down strike and demonstration scheduled for May 12 after holding talks with representatives of the provincial government on Monday. 

Irshad told The Express Tribune that they met former law minister Rana Sanaullah, the additional chief secretary and the finance secretary on Monday. He said they had agreed to accept their demands so they called off the planned strike and protest. He said the government had prepared summaries on their demands which would be presented to the chief minister in a few days. He said the government officials had agreed to issue official notifications after the chief minister approved the summaries. “This should happen within the week,” he said. When contacted, Sanaullah confirmed that he had met with Irshad and other APCA members. However, he said the summaries prepared would not be presented for approval, but for discussion. He said that they will meet the chief minister and discuss how to reach common ground on APCA’s demands. “Not all their demands are worthy of approval… We will only consider those that we deem fair.” When asked about the demands that the government deemed fair, Sanaullah refused comment. Another group within APCA Punjab, led by Sultan Mujaddadi, said the government had held negotiations with their group as well. “But they haven’t given any of us an affirmative answer.” He said his group was planning on holding a rally from Nasser Bagh to the Punjab Assembly on May 14. “We will protest against the government for playing APCA’s groups against each other and not accepting our charter of demands.” He said this was one of the reasons why they had challenged other groups within the APCA as well, “They are not sincere in fighting for the rights of clerks,” he said. APCA’s demands include: salary raise by 5 per cent and bringing them in line with pay scales in other provinces; timescale promotions for technical and non-technical staff in grades 5 and 16; admission quota for children of government employees and home rent allowance; and regularisation of service of employees (daily wagers and contractual) who have completed three years of service, among others.   Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2015.

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