|Pakistan: Unilever management employs dirty tactics; Use pocket union to attack dismissed workers in Rahim Yar Khan|
|Written by Haider Chughtai (PTUDC RYK)|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:18|
On 5 April nearly 150 goons of pocket union, which is also CBA, attacked the sit in of dismissed workers with iron rods, hockeys and bats.
Leaders of PTUDC comrade Haider Chughtai, comrade Kajal also came under attack. Many workers were seriously injured and were taken to hospital. All the cameras and mobile phones were snatched and broken so that no record of this brutal incident can be kept. Police was heavily deployed at this occasion which acted as spectator at this heinous incident.
Before this incident on an appeal issued by Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, Labor Action Committee and All Parties Action Committee a rally was organized from Railway Chowk Rahim Yar Khan to Unilever main gate. The rally was led by Haidar Chughtai (Organizer PTUDC), Abdul Haq Khetran (President Watan Dost Federation), Naeem Mahandra (Chairman Labor Action Committee), Rabbani Baloch (Convener Labor Action Committee), Saifullah Niazi (Chairman City Council), Jam Azam Anees (District Chairman PPP Shaheez Bhutto Group), Malik Akbar (President Awami Party), Khalid Shaheen, Fateh-Ullah, Rana Ahsan-ul-Haq (District President APCA), Nadeem Durrani (District General Secretary APCA), Riaz Aqeel (Organizer BNT), Umair Yousaf (Organizer YFIS), Momin Zar (District President Pukhtoonkhua Milli Awami Party), Advocate Hassan Nawaz Khan Niazi (Chairman Human Rights Forum), Hassan Muawia Khan (Chairman Saraikistan Youth), Sajid Hazoor (Chairman Workers Ittehad Union Coca Cola), Khalid Pervez (President Employees Union Coca Cola), Mian Amanat Ali Fauji (President Rickshaw Union), Saad Saman Khan (Gen Secretary Tobacco & Foods Beverages Union), Hafiz Ammar Baloch, Raees Kajjal (PTUDC), Muhammad Rauf (President Inqilabi Workers Union Unilever), Zulfiqar Ali (Gen Secretary Inqilabi Workers Union Unilever), Malik Nadeem (MRDW Unilever) and Jam Saleem (PTUDC). The rally was attended by hundreds of workers, students, social and political activists. At the end of rally participants observed a sit down strike in front of Unilever factory gate. This peaceful protest started at 1PM in afternoon and continued for five hours. Protestors raised slogans against Unilever management and demanded that 307 dismissed workers should be reinstated immediately. They also demanded that Usman Abid (Manager HR Department Unilever) be sacked instead of poor workers, all the contract workers should be declared permanent employees and minimum salary should be 11000 rupees.
At 6PM Usman Abid (HR Manager Unilever) provided the goons of pocket union Qamar Sultan, Pervez Abbasi, Waheed Bajwa, Khurram, Shahid Shah and many other with iron rods, hockey sticks, cricket bats and cricket wickets from Unilever Sports Club and ordered them to disperse the protest by force. On the orders of Usman Abid office bearers of pocket union along with 150 hired goons attacked the protestors beating them severely and seriously injuring at least six workers. Armed assailants set the protest camp on fire, broke the sound system, damaged bicycles and motorbikes parked nearby and snatched mobiles and money from peaceful protesting workers. Police played the role of silent observer and even baton charged the dismissed workers afterwards, injuring many others.
An emergency meeting was called by PTUDC and Labor Action Committee after this meeting in which fascist and anti workers mentality of Usman Abid and Unilever management was condemned. Demand of legal action and immediate arrest of those responsible for the incident was also made. It was also decided the PTUDC will stand by the oppressed workers and give all kind of support possible in these critical movement. Local leadership of PTUDC also issued an appeal for the students and workers of all countries to show solidarity with the dismissed workers of Unilever.
In the aftermath of the tragic incident General Secretary of pocket union Masood Tariq and information secretary Manzoor Khan resigned from their designations in protest while many workers of pocket union condemned the incident. Pocket Unions has also officially asked for apology from PTUDC now and has said that they were provoked by Unilever Management for this.
Comrades of PTUDC and dismissed workers have vowed to continue this struggle till their demands are accepted by the Management. They have said that these dirty tactics of the management will only strengthen their resolve to fight against injustice.
We appeal to the workers of the world to come forward against this barbarous attitude of Unilever towards its workers and condemn this violence and send letters of solidarity.
The Struggle continues!