It heartening to note that despite all the resistance by the Hashwani Group and the PPP Leader Najmi Alam who threatened the protestors setting up camp outside Pearl Continental to disappear for two days this last Friday since Mr. Zardari was in town. Abira Ashfaq talked to Mohd Nasir one of the protesting workers today to report that…
- They’ve held three negotiation sessions in the last 12 days in the basement – and offered to end dharna if PC reinstates the 4, and continues negotiations on the rest of the demands. PC has not acceded.
- There are about 200 people in the basement; some of these employees are continuing their shifts esp. those in essential jobs. After their shift ends, they return to the basement. These people are able to eat meals during their shifts; the rest are managing on whatever they can get their hands on – from outside – and snacks (chanas).
- People who left the basement to go home were not allowed to return. PC has a staff of 550-600 people on daily wages and they are hiring new people daily.
- Hashwani is an arrogant man, and despite them having used top level connections in the PPP, Home Ministry, and the Labour Department, he is not budging from his position, and has made it an issue of personal pride.
- They have received verbal threats from the police and management – yet the police has not taken violent action because in the words of the police, they are a “peaceful” (puraman) demonstration ; but then he also said that PC has had the police prepare chargesheets against a 140 of the 200 protestors to, perhaps, be used in the future.
- Despite all this he sounded hopeful and felt HR and the GM (general manager) (who apparently has not visited them even once) are slowing softening. He also expressed the view that management was scared of the dharna.