Public sector employees rally against inflation, low salaries outside Parliament

Protesters have vowed to continue their sit-in until their demands are fulfilled

By
Web Desk

All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA), Lady Health Workers, pensioners and various worker unions staged a sit-in in front of Parliament House on Wednesday to voice their various demands relating to their terms of employment, and record their protest against rising inflation.

A protest call was given by government employees asking participants to gather at D-Chowk in Islamabad.

The protest began at 9am and is currently underway.

When the demonstrators gathered at D-Chowk tried to move on to Parliament House, they were prevented by police. However, they broke the barricades and managed to proceed ahead.

Protesters, who have vowed to continue their sit-in until their demands are fulfilled, are holding placards and banners demanding changes to the service structure, increase in pensions, life insurance, salary increases and protection in the anti-polio campaign.

A huge number of women are participating in the protest, mostly representing female healthcare workers. Furthermore, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) workers and Allama Iqbal Open University employees are also present.

Lady Health Workers from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the federal capital shouting slogans while protesting at Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad. — Online photo by Sunny Ghouri

This is the second protest by government workers to take place this month. They have mainly demanded in a rise in compensation to deal with the soaring prices of commodities. Some also demanded an end to privatisation of institutions and lay-offs.

According to a Geo News correspondent, a financial unit from the district administration will negotiate with the government employees to ascertain their demands and how they can be fulfilled.

As for Lady Health Workers, Dr Faisal Sultan and the health secretary will speak to them, said the correspondent.

Some people were seen demonstrating against the rise in prices of essential commodities by displaying food items to mark their protest.

A member of All Pakistan Clerical Association (APCA) holds bread (roti) to represent the high inflation rate across the country during a protest outside the National Press Club in Islamabad, on October 14, 2020. — Online photo by Sunny Ghouri
A member of All Pakistan Clerical Association (APCA) protests with vegetables hung around his neck to represent the high inflation rate across the country during a protest outside the National Press Club in Islamabad, on October 14, 2020. — Online photo by Sunny Ghouri

PPP chairman voices support

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari voiced his support for the government employees and in particular the lady health workers.

Bilawal demanded that the PTI government accept the protesters' legitimate demands.

A statement issued by PPP said that the PPP chairman views due promotions, adequate pension and equal incentives as genuine rights of federal government employees.

"PPP supports their demcractic right of peaceful protest in Islamabad," the statement added.