Military Operation Cannot Eliminate Taliban

The strike of power looms workers in Faisalabad enters the seventh day.

Farooq Tariq (27\07\2010)

All factories are closed. Today on 27th July, women workers demonstrated in front of the district administration office. They were demanding an end of police harassment and raids at their homes. They also spoke against the open exhibition of arms by the gangsters in the workers localities. The top police officials had to agree to the demands of the women and children who had refused to leave the place before their demands are met.Over 100,000 workers are on strike since 20th JUly and over 20,000 factories are closed completely.

Yesterday, in two separate public meetings of striking workers, over 7000 participated to endorse the call of the Labour Qaumi Movement to continue the strike until the demand are met. They are demanding a 17 percent rates increase and a implementation of minimum wage of 7000 Rupees a month. Over 5000, participated in a public meeting in front of the home of Rana Tahir, district president of LQM who was seriously injured by the gangsters of the power looms bosses on 20th July, when the strike started. This was a tremendous show of solidarity with a workers leader who refused to run away even after the gangsters demanded him to run. he said to the gangsters, you can kill me but I will not run away, I will fight with all my courage. 

In another public meeting, Bushra Khaliq, secretary Women Workers Help Line was the main speaker who argued for a full participation of women in the strike. She had gone from Lahore to speak in this late night public meeting at a place where the bosses had organised a public meeting of 180, a day before to split the movement. The move failed miserably.

On Friday, four of us visited Faisalabad and spoke to the district administration and asked them to accept the demands of the workers. Our delegation included Niaz Khan general secretary National Trade Union Federation, Mehmood Butt general secretary Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union and Rana Aslam of LPP Punjab. We spoke at a public meeting and then went to meet the four jailed leaders of LQM in a police station. They include Fazal Ilahi, and Akbar Kambooh, the main leaders of Saddar area of Faisalabad where Mian Abdul Qayum chairman LQM contested a bye elections in June this year.

We say a great class consciousness among the young workers and a real urge of solidarity among the working class.  Class consciousness was at its best in Faisalabad, the third largest city of Pakistan.

Please find enclosed some pictures from Jhang successful 17 days strike of power looms and some from Faisalabad.

 


 

 

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