Commissioner has a plan… but will it work?


A plan has reportedly been prepared by the Karachi commissioner to resolve the ongoing tussle between the management and workers of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), which has paralysed the electricity distribution system in the metropolitan for the past 85 days.
Though the proposal is under discussion at various levels, the protesting workers have announced that they would resume the protest at the KESC head office because the authorities concerned have failed to resolve the employees’ issue by July 25.
“No practical development has been made so far and whatever is being reported are only suggestions and proposals,” KESC’s People’s Workers’ Union Secretary Lateef Mughal told Pakistan Today.
The employees had held a meeting with Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Hussain on Sunday night for over four hours and another meeting on Monday evening.
The workers have forwarded their demands and suggestions, but no development on the part of the company’s management has so far been observed, Mughal said.
He added that as the issue is still unresolved, the employees have the right to resume their protest in order to save their jobs.
However, sources said, under the fresh proposal, to ensure immediate relief to the consumers, all business operations of the KESC should return to normalcy soon.
The Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) would continue until further notice and the post-VSS retrenchment would be deferred.
All workers who have been offered the VSS are exempted from attending to their duties until the decision of the Dispute Resolution Committees (DRCs).
Expeditious disbursement of the relief package for workers who were offered the VSS and their remuneration were held in abeyance.
Besides, the DRCs would be announced within a week, and it would include representatives from the KESC workers and administration, which would address all disputed matters, including First Information Reports and potential accommodation against abolished positions.
According to the plan, no coercive action would be taken against the VSS by both parties and the code of conduct in accordance with the court orders (CPD 1428/2011) would be fully honoured by all the relevant parties.
Moreover, all types of protests, including sit-ins, would come to an immediate end, and all offices, consumer service centres and KESC installations would be opened for normal business activities to ensure improved service to its consumers.
The worker unions and employees would in addition ensure complete industrial peace and harmony at the KESC.
On the other hand, the protesting workers claimed that the meeting at the Commissioner Office, which was expected to make headway, was not attended by the KESC representative.
Besides, the meeting scheduled to be held at noon on Monday was attended by the commissioner at 5:00 pm.
The employees have no other option but to resume their protest that should be attended by the Sindh governor as he had promised to stand with the workers if theirs issues were not resolved by July 25, sources said.
The employees had called off their strike after receiving assurance of solution to their issue by July 25 from the governor during a three-hour long meeting held at the Governor House on Thursday.
However, the KESC continues to claim that despite the assurance of the governor, the union members had forced the company’s offices to remain closed.