Karachi (daily Business Recorder / Tuesday, Dec, 9, 2014) – Sit-in (Dharna) being staged by retired employees of Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB) to protest against non-implementation of son quota entered the eight day on Monday.
A participant of the protest demonstration, Gul Azam Shah, 67, who had suffered paralysis attack, demanded of the prime minister to order the KDLB to immediately appoint wards of retired employees under the son quota without any discrimination.
The former docker, who was paralysed in 2010, in his trembling voice said: “I am financially broke as the KDLB has withdrawn healthcare facilities after my retirement in 2008.”
He deplored that although prime minister had restored son quota regime, it was not being implementation in KDLB. “The KDLB has withdrawn all its support, including medical, pension etc., despite the fact that the retired dockers have spent their entire life in building and operating the country’s largest seaport.”
Quoting KDLB rules, he claimed that although retired employees are entitled to avail all medical facilities till 2018, the board administration has withdrawn all the healthcare facilities without assigning any reason.
Urging the prime minister to immediately order for the restoration of medical and pension facilities to the retired dockers, Gul Azam said: “I despite serving Karachi port for 41 years (from 1965 to 2008) is nowadays leading a miserable life.”
Muhammad Rehman, who is spearheading the sit-in demonstration, said the former military dictator, Gen Pervez Musharraf (retd) had imposed a ban on son quota, leaving around 700 workers without any benefits after their retirements.
“KDLB administration while making new appointments under the son quota regime has totally ignored the recently retired employees,” he claimed, urging the government to implement the son quota in letter and spirit.
He pointed out that even the newly-appointed employees were being paid 40 per cent less salary as compared to normal wages of dockers at KDLB. He said that although around 400 retired dockers had deposited Rs118, 000 with KDLB at the time of their retirement merely to get their sons appointed under the son quota, the KDLB administration had made around 132 new appointments, ignoring sons of the retired employees.
Reiterating that retired dockers will not end their sit-in demonstration till the acceptance of their demands, he said that Ports and Shipping director general Abdul Malik Ghauri, who visited the demonstrators’ camp, has assured his full cooperation in getting son quota implemented.
He also alleged that KDLB administration has recently appointed several medically-fit people under the quota reserved for physically impaired persons.
Another retired docker, Khuda Bukhsh, 66, who is passing a miserable life since his retirement in 2009, said that all his three young sons are jobless.
He said that KDLB administration had stopped his pension and medical facilities shortly after his retirement.
Narrating the same story, Haji Faqir Muhammad, 65, who was retired about seven years ago, urged the prime minister to order the KDLB administration to implement son quota without any discrimination.
Meanwhile, CBA union’s central leader, Gul Muhammad Afridi, said that the union would raise the issue of son quota with KDLB administration in its meeting scheduled to be held on Dec 12.
He was, however, optimistic that the son quota regime will be implemented in letter and spirit.