Utility store workers in Chitral protest arrest of union leader

CHITRAL: Workers of the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan in Chitral on Friday held a protest against the arrest of their central union president in Islamabad a day earlier.

There are 52 utility stores across Chitral where over 100 people are working but 98 per cent of them are daily wagers.

Since Aug 2018 when the PTI came to power the supply of essential food items to these stores has been suspended.

The employees of the utility stores have been protesting to get the supply restored and protect their jobs and ensure payment of salaries on time.

The president of the utility stores workers’ central union Syed Arif Hussain Shah was arrested by the police in Islamabad on May 9, 2019.

The protesters  in Chitral said Shah was detained for struggling for the rights of the workers and protesting non-supply of basic items to the stores.

Union’s district president Bahadar Khan, chairman Farid Ahmed and general secretary Kashif Ahmed and others condemned the government for its undemocratic and anti-workers and anti-public policies.

They said Shah had raised the issue of unavailability of basic food items in the stores even after the government announced a Rs2 billion Ramazan package in front of the minister of state for food due to which he was put behind bars.

The protesters, who were carrying placards and banners and chanting slogans, demanded that the union president should be released and supply to the stores restored without further delay.

Reporting: Syed Nazir Hussain Shah

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