Wapda workers warn of Egypt-like revolution

LAHORE – Over 140,000 WAPDA employees, during protest on Thursday warned the rulers that if no progressive reforms were made and restrictions on workers fundamental rights lifted, there will come a social revolution alike the ones in Egypt and Tunisia.
The protest, across the country, was held against the proposed privatisation of the utility.
“It is being carried out on the behest of the IMF and the World Bank,” the protestors alleged.
The workers, under the aegis of the Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Central Labour Union, took out the mass processions in Hyerabad, Sukkur, Larkna, Quetta, Sibbi, Khizdar, Peshawar, Noshehra, Abbottabd, Bannu, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Rawalpindi.
In Lahore, a procession, participated in by hundreds of workers, was taken out from the Bakhtiar Labour Hall. It marched with red flags and banners in support of their demands. They raised the slogan “Down with the IMF, World Bank and Privatization.”
The procession was led by labour leader Khurshid Ahmed. Other leaders Syed Sijjad Hussain Shah, Malik Noor Muhammad, Sh. Muhammad Shoaib, Ch. Maqsood Ahmed, Ch. Noor Muhammad, Osama Tariq, Syed Zahid Hussain Shan, Hassan Munir Bhatti, and Khushi Muhammad Khokar also participated.
Speaking to the participants, Khurshid said their struggle for the working class of Pakistan “was to establish an egalitarian society and achieve National Economic Self Reliance.” He demanded that the government should not resort to privatizing of WAPDA.
He warned the policy makers in case they did not care the just demand of the working class and bound before IMF and the World Bank, they would hold a long march to Islamabad. He abhorred the economic and social policies allowing rich to be richer and poor to be poorer on account sky-rocketing price hike.

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