Pakistan Steel Mills sacks over 4,500 employees

Statesman Report

KARACHI: Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) sacked 4,544 of employees, including the Divisional and Assistant Managers, PSM spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Management confirmed that officials belonging to category 2,3, and 4 pay groups have been dismissed from their jobs.

The spokesperson also notified that dismissal letters have been sent to sacked employees by post. However, he clarified that corporate secretaries of departments have been fired neither have the staff working in schools and colleges been let go.

On the other hand, PSM Stakeholders Group Covener Mamriz Khan lamented that the state has become indifferent to the employees of one of the largest public sectors of Pakistan.

"There are reports that the department head was called today so that employees can be dismissed," he said, lamenting that employees are forced to protest during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Regretting that the case against the appointment of Steel Mills Chief Executive is not being heard, the PSM official said that the current plan to rehabilitate Pakistan Steel Mills will cause further damage.

Govt decides to privatise PSM

Earlier this month, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that the government had decided to privatise the PSM as it had become a burden on the national exchequer.

He said that PSM employees had not been working for the last many years and now they would get a financial package of around Rs2.3 million per employee as compensation. Besides, he said, employees could also contribute to productivity in the private sector.

He said that at one stage, the PSM had 30,000 employees out of which many employees had retired and now an estimated 9,000 employees were working for the mill. He said the PSM was closed for the last five years and previous governments could not devise any plan for it.

The minister said that the government had to spend Rs55 billion to pay salaries to employees of a closed mill. He said when the PTI government came into power, the Pakistan Steel Mills was facing a loss of Rs176 billion and its interest was also increasing with each passing day.

Azhar said that the previous governments could not handle this issue, therefore, the present government had to take the final decision about the fate of the mill in the larger interest of the country.