Pakistan Post workers protest over proposed privatisation

KARACHI: The emotionally stirred employees of Pakistan Post blocked the main thoroughfare of the metropolis – II Chundrigar road – to protest against the proposed privatisation of Pakistan Post, causing a crippling traffic jam, here on Thursday.

The demonstration started outside the GPO at II Chundrigar Road. Later, the protestors marched towards the Sindh Assembly building. Workers held placards inscribed with slogans against the Privatisation Commission. Addressing the protest, central leaders of the Postal Action Committee, Asadullah Khan and Qamar Abbas Zaidi said that the privatisation of Pakistan Post was a conspiracy hatched to plunder billions of rupees from the postal department and the proposed privatisation might jeopardise the jobs of some 47,000 postal workers.

They claimed some 47,000 families were dependent on Pakistan Post through their jobs across the country and they would lose their bread and butter if privatised. They asserted that they would save the department from privatisation even at the cost of their lives.

They reminded that in 1992 the department was given the status of corporation but at that time too the government had to take its decision back after their protests. If the government did not take its decision back, they would continue their protests and would not hesitate to take any step to counter the bid, they admonished.

Central leader of the All Union of Pakistan Post (AUPP) and central secretary general of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), Nazar Mengal also addressed the demonstration.

Mengal said that they could see the plight of departments that had already been privatised. From the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation and the telecommunication department thousands of workers had been sacked and their lives were worse than before, he added.

He also mentioned the world economic crisis and said that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were dictating these policies to every government but if the workers stand united they could avert those imperialist policies.

Sindh PTUDC Secretary General Zubair Rehman said that the privatisation was not only a problem of the postal workers, but in all departments this reactionary policy was being implemented. He said that the PTUDC was making efforts to unite all these struggles into one platform. He said that a war against privatisation of Pakistan Post would also be fought in the Steel Mills, the Karachi Port Trust, railways and Pakistan telecommunications.

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