The hunger strike unto death of some of the employees of the Karachi Electric Supply Company has entered the eighth day on Friday with no likelihood of a resolution of their problems in the near future.
The KESC workers have gone on the hunger strike to press the privatized KESC management for proper assignment of duties and postings for the 4,000 low-cadre workers of the power utility who were earlier reinstated in January this year following a vociferous protest campaign by the KESC staff.
Leaders of the KESC workers have been demanding that these low-paid workers should not be rendered useless and made part of any “surplus pool” in the power utility.
Instead, their services should be properly utilized, and in case their original posts had been abolished by the management, they should be adjusted against the available vacancies in the power utility.
Mohammad Ikhlaq Khan, chairman of the KESC Labour Union, the CBA of the KESC employees, said that some forty workers of the KESC had been participating in the hunger strike outside the Karachi Press Club.
He said that there had not been any progress in the deadlock, compelling him and his colleagues to continue the hunger strike. He said that initially a much smaller number of the KESC employees were on the strike but with the passage of time their number had grown.
Khan said the movement in favour of the reinstated KESC workers had the support of various labour bodies and associations of the KESC workers. He said that another demand by the protesting KESC workers was for the immediate withdrawal of decisions to terminate or suspend services of a number of KESC workers against whom action had been taken by the management on the most frivolous of grounds in the recent past. He said that five of the hunger strikers were shifted to different hospitals for treatment as their condition had deteriorated.