Karachi Electric Supply Company questions government’s lenience towards union’s sabotage


Karachi: Karachi Electric Supply Company has questioned the relaxed handling by the government and law enforcement agencies of the defunct labour union’s illegal, militant and subversive campaign against the power supply system of the Metropolis. While condemning the over two months old union sabotage activities, the utility asked the government to take serious note of the union’s latest threat to force a black out in Karachi and enforce law to pre-empt any such attempt which could jeopardize the City life.

KESC demanded of the authorities to take strict action against the union’s cordon at almost all the public dealing and operation offices of the utility including head office, load dispatch centre, transformers workshop and above all the Central Stores. All the repair vehicles under the illegal possession and misuse of defunct union needed to be returned to KESC immediately for deployment to repair of local faults.

Hundreds of union miscreants surrounded the Central Stores on Tuesday when media teams reached the place to cover the defunct union’s cordon to block release of repair material and new equipment for maintenance of local faults. The culprits manhandled TV cameramen and snatched their camera to pre-empt filming of their illegal attack and violence. The illegal siege of Central Stores started about two weeks ago but the law enforcement personnel present there did not attend to their job of removing blockade under the Sindh High Court orders and played silent spectators.

A group of union hooligans led by top activists attacked IBC Korangi and threatened the employees present there to stop working and vacate the place. This was one of the series of such attacks, threats and manhandling that the union miscreants carried out at many other offices and installations of KESC.

KESC believes it appeared as if the authorities had granted total clemency to the defunct union’s unlawful and subversive tactics which was giving tough time not only to the power utility but the whole population of Karachi. Even the clear and direct orders of the Sindh High Court had not been implemented in terms of providing due protection and security to KESC employees and assets which amounted to contempt of court.

The general public had already witnessed union miscreants attacking KESC’s repair and maintenance functions all across the City. KESC understands that in absence of the government’s action, the citizens needed to persuade the union activists to refrain from acting upon black out threat in their own interest. The defunct union had already crossed all limits of trade union ethics and rules of protest as actually its miscreants had been demonstrating their vendetta against their mother company as well as the consumers who paid for their salaries and benefits, as the utility’s basic commitment was towards its valued customers.

KESC apprehends that the government’s negligence towards strong arm tactics exercised on the excuse of labour issues on the part of defunct labour union could initiate a plague of extremism in the already terrorised society. The society, on the whole, needed to attend to this serious issue and convince the defunct union and its external supporters to adopt sane approach.

KESC said that the much repeated issue of non-core employees had already reached its logical end as 2,800 of 4,500 had either accepted or forwarded their applications for the Voluntary Separation Scheme under their free will, and more were coming, despite all coercive attacks and threats from the union miscreants; and final payment had already started. No employees had ever been terminated under the VSS and the management had explained attractive features of the VSS through text messages as a matter of choice for the employees. However, the continuance of union’s sabotage campaign in spite of the actual issue fading out had exposed its dark side and proved that the union was not pursuing labour issues but simply following destructive conspiracy. The latest threat to force a black out in Karachi was a confession towards all the other past and present misdeeds against KESC and the general public.

KESC expressed concern over the prolonged suffering of the power users in the City because of the fault-based outages and demanded that the government provide due security to the utility’s employees in and out of their offices, particularly at the sites of local faults. Also, removing the siege of Central Stores needed to be given top priority to enable KESC to release transformers, cables and other equipment for replacement of faulty ones. KESC also demanded immediate legal action against the union miscreants against whom the utility had lodged FIRs with various police stations and provided enough valid evidence and eyewitness accounts of the culprits’ involvement in illegal attacks and other crimes.

KESC also asked the government to arrange regular supply of at least 240 MMCFD of natural gas to bring down the extended load shedding in residential and commercial areas of Karachi by half as the utility had presently been receiving mere 160 MMCFD against its ECC approved and committed quota of 276 MMCFD. This shortfall had been causing the power generation to fall down to minimum level thus forcing the citizens to suffer extended load shedding schedule of three, six and eight hours.

For more information, contact:
Adil Murtaza
Assistant Manager, Media and PR
Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11, Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 7163
Cell: +92346 822 3641
Email: adil.murtaza@kesc.com.pk