Walton Tobacco Company workers appeal to chief justice of Azad Kashmir over illegal factory closure

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Walton Tobacco Company workers appeal to chief justice of Azad Kashmir over illegal factory closure

ISLAMABAD, April 16 (DNA): The employees and workers of the Walton Tobacco Company have appealed the Chief Justice of Azad Kashmir to take notice of factory’s illegal closure the Chief Justice of Azad Kashmir to take notice of illegal closure of the factory by the administration demanding immediate de-sealing of the premises as families of more than 400 workers are facing critical conditions due to workers being unemployed following the closure.

The employees and workers urged the Chief Justice of Azad Kashmir for justice saying they were the victims of exploitation and were suffering due to the administration’s illegal act.

On the other hand, Spokesman Walton Tobacco Company Arif Zia said that they were receiving threats of serious consequences from the administration of Azad Kashmir.

He further said that Walton was the highest tax-paying company in Azad Kashmir, which pays 240 million rupees to the national exchequer every month.

Addressing a press conference earlier this week, Arif Zia informed that his company was raided illegally, was subsequently sealed while all the products were seized.

Leaders of factory workers Muhammad Ali and Umar Ahmed said that AJK government’s indifferent attitude was disappointing as they did not follow the due process. The government’s action was biased and based on unfounded assumptions.

They said that the factory owners were treated like thieves, which is discouraging for the highest taxpayers and would result in discouraging investor entering AJK market.

Arif Zia said that unemployment rate is increasing in Azad Kashmir due to these factors on part of Azad Kashmir government.

Earlier, workers and employees of Walton Tobacco Company held a protest demonstration at Rawalpindi Road outside the factory in Mirpur Chatrapadi, and demanded the administration to immediately de-seal the factory.

They warned the administration to expanding the scope of their protest movement in order to win their jobs and normal life back to their families who were suffering. The workers said their families could not celebrate Eid because the factory was sealed during the holy month of Ramadan.

Walton Tobacco Company spokesperson Arif Zia said that the Azad Kashmir government should first crackdown against sale of illegal cigarettes in the market.