KESC lays off 4,000 workers, 500 opt for VSS

KARACHI: The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) Wednesday laid off 4,000 workers, while 500 opted for Voluntarily Separation Scheme (VSS) under a cost-cutting drive to make the utility financially viable. KESC spokesman Amir Abbasi told Daily Times the utility had announced on January 1, 2011 VSS for 4,500 workers of the non-management staff under which all statutory dues and Ex-Gratia Payouts (minimum of 25 basics, maximum of 85 basics with minimum pay-out of Rs 700,000) would be paid to those who decide to benefit from the scheme. The workers were given till January 15, 2011 to apply for the scheme. Only 500 workers applied for the scheme while 4,000 did not. The laid-off workers were of five different categories – security guards, bill distributors, sanitary workers, drivers and clerical workers. He said the 4,000 workers will be given one month’s (February) advance salary and get gratuity benefits. When asked who would fulfil the responsibilities of the fired workers, Abbasi said that contractual companies would be contacted to fill in the gap. Meanwhile, the KESC’s Trade Union said that if the decision was not reversed they would protest against the KESC management – Dailytimes