ISLAMABAD: The federal government has banned all labour union activities in public institutions through invoking services act with aim to restrict the PIA workers’ union that has called a strike on Tuesday (today) against the proposed privatisation of the national-flag carrier.
According to a statement issued by the PM Office, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the extension of the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (ESMA) 1952 to PIA on the recommendation of the Aviation Division for.
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said PIA’s losses had touched Rs30 billion in 2013 and the government had been working hard to improve the organisation. He said the prime minister had promised no PIA employee would be sacked, but even then the unions were causing inconvenience to passengers.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of PIA’s labour leaders decided to go ahead with their planned strike after the government refused to commit to keeping PIA as a completely government-run organisation.
On Monday, the PIA staff continued their protest and closed down all offices. The union members under the JAC flag also protested outside the airline’s head office, demanding the government take back the privatisation law or get ready for the strike.
JAC spokesperson Nasrullah Khan Afridi lamented the enforcement of the services act, saying there was now no difference between a democratic government and a dictatorship.