Appeal to Chief Justice to strike down a discriminatory and militancy promoting SRO
November 18, 2020

Managing Director and CEO                                                         19 Nov.2020

Pakistan State Oil, PSO House,

Karachi.

Dear Syed Muhammad Taha,

Minimum Wages : PSO Petrol Stations.

Let me begin by congratulating you for the outstanding performance of PSO that has resulted in profit after tax of PKR 5.1 billion in 1Q FY21. This is brilliant, considering that most state run organisations do not perform as well.

As a citizen and a newspaper columnist, my research on minimum wages in Pakistan has often led me to some very distressing conclusions of how employees, specially those at the lower (or perhaps lowest ) tier are denied even the minimum wages specified by the law.

Pakistan State Oil is an ethical and prestigious organization that I hold in high esteem. Its name suggests two of the most important entities – Pakistan and State, that reflect what we stand for, our ideals and our hopes. It was therefore extremely astonishing and painful for me to discover the disproportionately low wages being paid to the large number of employees who work at PSO petrol stations.

Petrol pump employees work on a 24 hour shift basis, working on alternate days for 15 days in a month.   Each day of duty involves 8 hours of regular and 16 hours of over time.   The law specifies a minimum wage of Rs.17500 per month for an 8 hour shift / month and wages at twice the rate for overtime.     Thus the minimum wage that ought to be paid to every employee for first 8 hours of 15 days ought to be Rs.8750 and for additional 240 hours of overtime/ per month ought to be Rs.35000. Thus every employee performing a 24 hour shift on alternate days for 15 days in a month ought to be paid at least Rs.43750 per month. As of today even the employees working on PSO company operated petrol pumps receive less than half of this amount.

May I request you Sir, to kindly immediately restore the legal and human rights of employees at all PSO petrol stations. The wages of ALL employees, employed by PSO itself AND its contractors, working on a 24 hour shift basis, ought to be raised to Rs.43750 – may they be PSO company operated or contractor operated petrol pumps.

Kindly also ensure that each one of them is also registered with EOBI and Social Security.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that these actions have been implemented within 30 days of the receipt of this letter. Tesekkurlar.

Sincerely,

Naeem Sadiq