ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Workers Confederation (APWC) has demanded of the federal and provincial government to check rising price hike of essential commodities and freeze their prices. It urged Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and adviser to PM on finance for at least 50 percent increase in wages, pensions and allowances of the workers in the federal budget 2018-19. The APWC protest rally held in front of the National Press Club on Tuesday was joined by thousands of workers including trade union representatives and workers belonging to Water & Power Development Authority, railways, telecommunication, Pakistan International Airlines, textile, engineering, chemical, fertiliser, Public Works Department, irrigation, banks and other entities from all parts of the country including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory. They were carrying national and red flags and banners and they also chanted slogans in favour of their demands. The protestors stressed that the government should fulfill their demands as it had already raised emoluments of the legislators by about 150 percent and regularised the contract, daily wages and contingent workers. Addressing the rally, APWC General Secretary Khurshid Ahmed said that the PM and lawmakers should accept the just demands of the workers otherwise they would be compelled to hold sit-in protests. Through a resolution, the APWC urged the federal, provincial government to raise minimum wages of workers to Rs 30,000, pension of retired employees from Rs 5,230 per month to at least Rs 15,000 per month, restore medical facilities to the industrial and commercial workers after their superannuation under Social Security Scheme Ordinance and get amended the outdated labour laws and bring them in conformity with International Labour Organisation conventions and restore the fundamental trade union rights of the banks, National Database & Regulation Authority and agriculture workers under the law and assure safe working conditions to the workers. Published in Daily Times, April 18th 2018.