Karachi – The sacked employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) – 4,544 of whom were terminated by the federal government on Friday – warned that they would go to court as they continued their protest on the National Highway on Saturday, blocking both tracks and leading to a snarl of traffic.
The employees were fired in the wake of an emergency meeting chaired by the PSM CEO.
The enraged workers shouted slogans against the Centre, demanding that it take back its decision and restore the jobs.
Labour association leaders said the federal government was depriving workers of employment, adding that though employees had begun to receive termination letters, they would continue to protest until the decision was revoked.
Lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, they said it had promised to restore PSM after forming its government in the Centre, but now it was working on shutting it down permanently. “Prime Minister Imran Khan had claimed that corrupt elements had ruined PSM but he would restore it and make it functional again,” they pointed out, adding that instead of standing by his promises, he had sacked thousands of workers.
Moreover, said the protest leaders, the courts had ordered the government to make efforts for PSM employees and submit a report in this regard, but the government ignored judicial orders and sacked them.
They warned they would take to the courts against the Centre’s “unjust and oppressive act,” adding that they had united against its “tyranny” and would fight for their rights to their last breath. The protesters further announced that they would widen the scale of the protest, marching towards the Governor House.
Earlier, deceased former PSM employee Habibur Rehman was laid to rest. He had suffered a fatal heart attack on Friday after hearing that his son, Shakeelur Rehman, had been laid off from the PSM.