Stories of Widows of PTCL Workers : Daily Dawn – October 31, 2010

Widows of PTCL workers find it hard to make both ends meet :

Middle aged Ms Shahzadi Panwhar is finding it too hard to make both ends meet and feed her seven children with the paltry pension of Rs4,000 she receives as widow of a low-ranking PTCL employee.
She has to stitch rillies to supplant her income to run the house and bear extra expenses for treatment for her elder son who is an asthmatic. Her difficulties will decrease to a great extent if the new management of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited raises her pension in accordance with government directives and gives job to her son to enable her family to stay in the com pany’s residential quarters.
The company management has unfortunately denied 52,000 pensioners, of them 14,000 in Sindh, multiple raises in rate of pension and medical allowance since July this year.

Stories of Widows of PTCL Workers Daily Dawn - October 31, 2010

“I prepare two to three rillies a month to supplement my income after my husband Shoban died in an accident and earn Rs1,000 after selling them. The company did not give job to my son although he is 18 years of age,” Ms Shahzadi said.
The pensioners feared the present management run by foreigners might be preparing to do away with pension permanently. The withholding of government-announced raises could be an attempt to gauge degree of their resilience, they said.
The pensioners’ widows, especially those who are illiterate, have no other source of income or their husbands were low-ranking employees like Shahzadi’s have been left in the lurch not only by the company but also by the CBA union.

Letter of Ex Assitant Engineer PTCL H-Q - jang Rawalpindi 31-10-2010

They find nobody to advocate their case in the PTCL and although the government still holds a major share in the company it has not so far responded to their appeals.
Ms Nafisa, wife of a late PTCL supervisor, has a similar story to relate. A patient of hepatitis-C she has four daughters and she receives Rs5,061 as pension to feed her family. “I am a patient of hepatitis-C and the future of daughters worries me sick,” she said.
With rate of inflation flying through the roof, increases in electricity tariff, high cost of edibles and other commodities almost all retired employees face identical problems, which have forced them to take to the streets.
They are observing token hunger strikes and holding demonstrations in different parts of the country but their appeals appear to be falling on deaf ears.
A widow receives half the pension of what a retired employee gets in the PTCL.The president has increased this 50 per cent pension to 75 per cent effective from July this year.
Ms Shahzadi and others like her whose husbands were BPS-6 employees would be able to get Rs6,000 per month with presidential raise of 75 per cent. They were currently getting Rs4,000 per month.
And if the company adds 20 per cent raise to their pension (Rs1,200) and 25 per cent to medical allowance (1,800) then the figure will be around Rs9,000 a month.
The retirees who served in BPS17 are receiving Rs16,250 a month.
They are likely to get Rs23,250 or so a month if the raises are included. The raised amount varies between Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 according to workers’ scales.
According to Azam Qureshi from Tando Adam, who leads pensioners’ protest in Hyderabad and other districts, the PTCL employees have been protected under section 35 and 36(2) of the Telecommunication (Reorganisation) Act 1996 which says regular PTCL employees will be treated like government employees. Besides, they were also protected under section 16.2 of “Shareholder Agreement”, he said.
The pensioners did receive raise in pension until last fiscal year an nounced by the government form time to time but all of a sudden the present management had withheld it, he said.
He said that he had sent an application to the apex court on behalf of retired employees.The court had taken suo motu notice of the issue and fixed its hearing for Nov 3, he said.
“We are being treated as if we were never part of the PTCL. We have served the company for well over 25 to 30 years and there are relevant laws and regulations that govern the present PTCL setup which is bound to treat us accordingly,” complained Riazuddin, a pensioner of Hyderabad.
hyderabad, oct 30: middle- aged ms shahzadi panwhar is find- ing it too hard to make both ends meet and feed her seven children with the paltry pension of rs4,000 she receives as widow of a low-rank- ing ptcl employee. she has to stitch rillies to sup- plant her income to run the house and bear extra expenses for treat- ment for her elder son who is an asthmatic. her difficulties will de- crease to a great extent if the new management of the pakistan telecommunication company limited raises her pension in ac- cordance with government direc- tives and gives job to her son to en- able her family to stay in the com- pany’s residential quarters. the company management has unfortunately denied 52,000 pen- sioners, of them 14,000 in sindh, multiple raises in rate of pension and medical allowance since july this year. “i prepare two to three rillies a month to supplement my income after my husband shoban died in an accident and earn rs1,000 after selling them. the company did not give job to my son although he is 18 years of age,” ms shahzadi said. the pensioners feared the pres- ent management run by foreigners might be preparing to do away with pension permanently. the with- holding of government-announced raises could be an attempt to gauge degree of their resilience, they said. the pensioners’ widows, espe- cially those who are illiterate, have no other source of income or their husbands were low-ranking em- ployees like shahzadi’s have been left in the lurch not only by the company but also by the cba un- ion. they find nobody to advocate their case in the ptcl and al- though the government still holds a major share in the company it has not so far responded to their ap- peals. ms nafisa, wife of a late ptcl supervisor, has a similar story to re- late. a patient of hepatitis-c she has four daughters and she receives rs5,061 as pension to feed her fam- ily. “i am a patient of hepatitis-c and the future of daughters worries me sick,” she said. with rate of inflation flying through the roof, increases in elec- tricity tariff, high cost of edibles and other commodities almost all retired employees face identical problems, which have forced them to take to the streets. they are observing token hunger strikes and holding demonstrations in different parts of the country but their appeals appear to be falling on deaf ears. a widow receives half the pen- sion of what a retired employee gets in the ptcl.the president has increased this 50 per cent pension to 75 per cent effective from july this year. ms shahzadi and others like her whose husbands were bps-6 em- ployees would be able to get rs6,000 per month with presiden- tial raise of 75 per cent. they were currently getting rs4,000 per month. and if the company adds 20 per cent raise to their pension (rs1,200) and 25 per cent to medi- cal allowance (1,800) then the fig- ure will be around rs9,000 a month. the retirees who served in bps- 17 are receiving rs16,250 a month. they are likely to get rs23,250 or so a month if the raises are included. the raised amount varies between rs15,000 to rs20,000 according to workers’ scales. according to azam qureshi from tando adam, who leads pensioners’ protest in hyderabad and other dis- tricts, the ptcl employees have been protected under section 35 and 36(2) of the telecommu- nication (reorganisation) act 1996 which says regular ptcl employ- ees will be treated like government employees. besides, they were also protected under section 16.2 of “shareholder agreement”, he said. the pensioners did receive raise in pension until last fiscal year an- nounced by the government form time to time but all of a sudden the present management had withheld it, he said. he said that he had sent an appli- cation to the apex court on behalf of retired employees.the court had taken suo motu notice of the issue and fixed its hearing for nov 3, he said. “we are being treated as if we were never part of the ptcl. we have served the company for well over 25 to 30 years and there are relevant laws and regulations that govern the present ptcl setup which is bound to treat us accord- ingly,” complained riazuddin, a pensioner of hyderabad.

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