Power loom owners in Pakistan are threatening to close more than 50,000 power looms if the government of Punjab fails to provide protection to their plants from angry mobs.

Last week violent labour protests burned five weaving plants in Faisalabad, including Fazal Weaving Factory. Around 2,000 workers were arrested by the police.

Around 150,000 power loom workers in Faisalabad are demanding an increase in minimum wages to PKR7000 (US$82) per month, a 17% increase in salaries, and social security protection to the workers as announced by the provincial government in June.

The protest has entered into the second week. Around 4,000 workers, including women, held a protest rally in Sadhar industrial area on Wednesday and threatened to continue the strike if their demands not met.

Addressing the rally, Labour Qaumi Movement leader Latif Ansari demanded the Federal and Provincial Government to resolve the issue and release the arrested workers immediately.