October 15th, 2020
Anas Malik & Asra Haque
On Wednesday, October 14, government employees, pensioners, and members of different labor unions convened together at Islamabad’s Red Zone in thousands to protest their grievances against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as anti-worker practices of the federal government. The sit-in was successful despite initial attempts by the capital city police to prevent protestors from entering the Red Zone.
The All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA), Lady Health Workers Union, government pensioners, and other labor union workers sat in front of the Parliament House chanting slogans and demanding their mandate be fulfilled. These included raising their salaries in proportion to the recent price-hike owing to inflation, while retired government employees raised their voice against the cancellation of their pensions. They lamented that the government failed to raise salaries and pensions for government employees in the current fiscal budget presented in June 2020.
While the APCA and other protesters called off their rally, after successful negotiations with the authorities, the Lady Health Workers are continuing their sit-in. They are demanding a unified pay structure, job security and ample protection when rendering their services during health campaigns, such as the polio immunization drive.