The government laid off over 4,500 PSM employees last week
Pakistan Steel Mills employees who were sacked last week ended their protest in Karachi late Tuesday.
The protesters were staging a sit-in at the railway track near Bin Qasim for the last 10 hours. Thousands of passengers suffered because of the delay in arrival and departure of trains due to the protest.
The deputy commissioner, railways authorities, police and steel mills officials held talks with the protesters after which they agreed to end the sit-in. The protesters were expected to disperse shortly.
The All Employees Association Committee Convenor Aslam Bhatti led the protest, and demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan take back the decision to lay off thousands of PSM employees.
The protestors called the PTI government’s promise that no one will be laid off during the pandemic a lie.
The government’s Economic Coordination Committee had approved in June firing all employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills. Over 4,500 employees were sacked last week as part of a cost reduction exercise.
According to the mills’ spokesperson, lecturers, non-teaching staff at schools and colleges, drivers, firemen, fire tender operators, health workers, security guards, gardeners, paramedical staff, cooks and office attendants were being “retrenched”.
The staff at the chief executive’s secretariat and professional degree holders were being retained.
“The individual letters of retrenchment have been dispatched to all retrenched employees through registered post,” said the spokesperson in a statement.
Saeed Ghani, the minister for labour in Sindh, condemned the federal government’s decision to terminate the services of PSM employees and said that the PPP will stand with the employees.
He demanded the government withdraw its decision to sack the employees and an economic package be announced to make the PSM functional.