KESC adamant on removing 4,000 staff
Karachi (April 6, 2011): Details of KESC’s severance scheme for laying off services of around 4,000 employees was presented before the Sindh High Court on Wednesday according to which each of the targeted employees would be given an upfront gross payment of a minimum of Rs700,000 to a maximum Rs4,735,000, according to a statement issued by the company.
The CBA of the KESC employees, through its advocate, sought time from the SHC to go through the severance package.
The KESC said that if the scheme was not accepted by the employees voluntarily, the KESC reserved the right to proceed further on the retrenchment of its “non-core” employees “as per the law”.
The positions in the power utility defined as non-critical and non-core in nature included that of bill distributors, junior office assistants, office attendants, MT drivers, sanitary workers, security guards, and similar other miscellaneous positions.
Earlier in January this year, the services of the employees performing these functions were terminated by the privatized KESC after offering them a voluntary retirement programme.
But within a span of a few days the decision was reversed by the utility’s management when the KESC employees waged a vociferous and unanimous campaign for restoration of the services of the sacked workers.
The restoration of services of the sacked employees of the power utility was made possible only after intervention of the federal and provincial authorities.
The KESC said that it had taken the decision to make a substantial investment of over Rs5.35 billion for the benefit of the employees it regarded as non-core and who the organization no longer wanted to retain.
The KESC said that despite financial challenges surrounding the utility, this severance scheme had been designed to extend the maximum financial benefits to the targeted group of employees.
The KESC said that this step was being taken to further the company’s endeavours to focus on its core responsibilities of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
Besides, prompt attendance of public complaints and efficient action for repair and maintenance in the minimum possible time were also core areas of activity of the KESC. These were the core jobs and skill sets KESC would be focusing on in the future to improve it internally and externally, said the statement.
According to details of severance package being offered to the “non-core” set of employees, the employees who are under 58 years of age would be granted ex-gratia payment of four basic salaries plus one basic salary for each of their remaining years of service; while the ones who are between 58 and 60 years would be given one basic salary for each remaining month of their services.
Provident funds and gratuity would be paid according to entitlement.
Leave encashment, medical allowance would be paid equal to 7.5 basic salaries of the employees in question and apart from this free electricity entitlement would also be monetized for a period calculated over the next five years and added up in the severance scheme package being offered, said the statement.
According to the calculations, 44 percent of the stated number of the KESC employees under the severance scheme would bag an amount ranging from approximately Rs1,000,000 to Rs4,735,197.
Of the 4,000 identified non-core employees of the KESC falling under the severance scheme, 189 employees are those who have up to two years of service left with the company, 418 three to six years of service left, 490 have seven to 10 years, 760 have 11 to 15 years, 703 have 16 to 20 years, 699 have 21 to 25 years of service, 567 have 26 to 30 years of service, 222 have 31 to 35 years, and six employees have 36 to 38 years of service left with the company.
The KESC said that the decision of offering the severance package to a specific group of employees was taken by the power utility as an independent action, keeping in view the philosophy of the management to create value and a conducive operating environment, while remaining to be a socially responsible organization.