VTI staff stretch sit-in protest to over 24 hours
LAHORE (April 12, 2012) : More than 700 employees of vocational training institutes (VTIs) from all over Punjab continued their sit-in on second day in front of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat after talks between protesters and the government failed on Thursday.
The protesting employees of vocational training institutes, including 200 women, began their sit-in on Wednesday morning to demand a regular pay scale like other government servants. The protesters had set up camps on the Club Road, where they spent the night.
The representatives of the Punjab government and Lahore DCO Noorul Ameen held talks with the protesters to convince them to end their protest. The government assured the protesters that their demands would be fulfilled within 15 days. However, the protesters refused to end their sit-in till the acceptance of their demands.
VTI Rights Protection Committee President Qamar Ijaz has said that the staff would not end their protest because they did not trust the government. “We ended our protest last month when we were assured that the government would fulfil our demands, but nothing was done. This time, we will continue our sit-in until the chief minister issues an executive order.”
He said that three persons, including a woman, fainted during the protest and they were under treatment at a hospital.
There are around 155 vocational training institutes in Punjab, having 3,000 employees. These institutes were set up in 1998 under the Punjab Vocational Training Council.