Railway employees protest downsizing, PR privatisation | Pakistan Today

Railway employees protest downsizing, PR privatisation

LAHORE – Pakistan Railways (PR) employees on Wednesday brought out a rally from Railway Headquarter to Divisional Superintendent (DS) Lahore office to protest against the proposed downsizing and privatization of the department and blocked Allama Iqbal Road for some time by burning tyres.
The protesters chanted slogans against the railway administration and pledged that they will not let any body to privatize Pakistan Railways. They demanded of the government not to privatize the department and halt the proposed downsizing, which they termed as a ‘bureaucratic conspiracy’ against poor railway workers.
They asked the railway administration to restore the travelling allowance payments to workers immediately and urged the government to regularize the contractual employees and ensure timely payment of monthly remuneration to workers. Dozens of railway workers under the Prem Union leadership staged this protest and blocked the said road for more than one hour.
They were chanting slogans against the railways minister and other senior officers; the protesters held them responsible for the present financial crisis of their organisation. The employees peacefully dispersed after some time. However, the traffic remained disturbed for a long time and commuters had to face problems.
The Railways workers union leaders while addressing the protesters strongly criticized the administration for adopting wrong policies that had put the organisation on the verge of collapse.
Union’s Senior Vice President Sheikh Muhammad Anwar, Saghir Cheema and others said the focus of the ministry had been on importing coaches and locomotives and the railways minister had been complaining about inadequate locomotives but was taking no interest in the import of spare parts that could make several of them functional and minimize the shortage.

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