by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
HUNZA, August 26: A strike by staff of all power stations of Northern Areas that lasted for two consecutive days has now come to an end after many rounds of dialogue between the ‘Action committee of Fixed-Pay Staff Water and Power Department’ and officials of Northern Areas Power and Works Department.
The strike was being observed on the call of the newly-formed Action Committee of the fixed-pay staff of the power houses of Northern Areas. A large number of employees gathered in Nomal village and suspended the supply of the electricity to Gilgit Town from Naltar power house for a whole day. Similarly, all power stations of Northern Areas also suspended electricity supplies.
The employees demanded to regularise all fixed-pay staff and increase the minimum salaries to six thousand, as announced by Prime Minister during the budget session 2008. They also complaint about lack of regular payment of salaries for months and demanded to disburse salaries within first five days of every month. They demanded to approve the PC-4 of all the power stations in Northern Areas and fill the vacant positions by recruiting people from respective projects.
The committee announced the withdrawal after the Secretary Works, Nasir Ali Shigri and other high officials of NAPWD assured the committee to take immediate actions on the demands of the employees. They, however, threatened to reassert strike for their rights, whenever the situation warranted and the demands were not met.