Workers take to the streets over painful price hikes – Journal

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KARACHI: Workers, including a staggering number of women, staged a rally and converged outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Sunday to file their protest against record food inflation and the unprecedented rise in oil prices.The rally was removed from Regal Chowk at KPC. It was organized by the National Federation of Trade Unions (NTUF) and the Home Workers Federation (HBWWF).

Likening the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the East India Company, rally participants chanted slogans against the government for aggravating the miseries of the people.

The rally was led by Zehra Khan, Riaz Abbassi and Aqib Hussain. Karamt Ali from National Labor Council, Saira Feroz from United HB Workers Union, Saeeda Khatoon from Balida Factory Fire Affected Association, Zahid Farooq from Urban Resource Center, Akber Narajo from Progressive Labor Union, Pakistan Steel Mills.

Speaking at the rally, they accused the leaders of being “enablers and agents of the IMF and other global lenders”, saying that for just $6 billion, Pakistan is becoming a “colony of the IMF”.

They said that the government had pushed the masses into the worst economic crisis. “By raising oil prices to an unbearable level, the poor masses are being driven to starvation and death. The Rs 28 billion relief announced by the government is stirring salt in the wounds of Pakistan’s poor. This relief affects 85 million people, resulting in a relief of Rs 330 per capita.

They said the actual inflation was much higher than the 15.1% inflation announced by the government.

They said that in 2018 the minimum wage was Rs 16,200, or $132, per month and in 2022 it is Rs 19,000, or $95, which means that the actual minimum wage has been decreased by $33, or Rs. 7,300, per month.

Posted in Dawn, June 6, 2022

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