PM approves Essential Services Maintenance Act for PIA

Published: February 1, 2016
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Any PIA employee taking part in the strike will lose his or her job, says Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid. PHOTO: REUTERS

Any PIA employee taking part in the strike will lose his or her job, says Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved on Monday the Essential Services Maintenance Act 1952 for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for a period of six months.

The premier enforced the act after signing a summary of the aviation division to this effect.

The move comes as PIA employees prepare to halt flight operations on Tuesday, following the failure of talks with the government on the proposed privatisation move.

Talking to media, Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid said “any employee taking part in the strike will lose his job as we have arranged alternate staff and pilots to run the airline.”

The strike will only damage the institution and the country, he added.

Rashid said the airline was suffering from a Rs30 billion deficit, adding, “we are trying to find the right investors for the airline.”

PIA staff to strike on Tuesday

A representative of PIA employees’ joint action committee; however, said the unions will go ahead with the planned shutdown of the airline’s flight operation.

“We are not scared of being arrested. If they baton charge us, so be it,” Sohail Baluch said.

The labour leaders took the decision after the government refused to commit to keeping PIA as a completely government-run organisation.

The ruling PML-N had already introduced a controversial law to convert the airline into a public limited company.

But on January 29, the government announced putting off PIA’s sell-off for six months, requesting the workers to end their protest, which has been continuing for the past 55 days.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • feedback
    Feb 1, 2016 - 6:51PM

    First do not manage PIA properly then sell it for peanuts to your friends and in addition approve extra expenses for essential service maintenance. Such a huge corruption with our tax money.Recommend

  • shahid
    Feb 1, 2016 - 7:38PM

    Fire all these guys going on strikes. They are blackmailers and good for nothing. We need privatization badly. In fact we need to out source every thing including our parliament and government. We need to put up bids for the running the entire country.Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Feb 1, 2016 - 8:18PM

    Pathetic!!! Strong arm tactics are not going to work NS. The people can see right through you and your bad intentions towards PIA and towards the State. You will fail abysmally and you and your Arab friends loot will not buy you a place in Heaven.Recommend

  • Bystander
    Feb 1, 2016 - 8:26PM

    Well done! Stand up to the blackmailers!Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2016 - 8:47PM

    govt should stand firm to these pressure tactics.Recommend

  • Shehryar
    Feb 1, 2016 - 9:23PM

    dont budge these guys are afraid of losing their jobs because they are so inefficient. we need to sell pia asapRecommend

  • masoom
    Feb 1, 2016 - 9:40PM

    PIA is an old ulcer ,it is giving free tickets to VIPs ,flight being delayed due to VIP,s ,it should be privatized !Recommend

  • Punjabi
    Feb 1, 2016 - 9:51PM

    Lets end this Imranic style of destructive protesting once and for all!Recommend

  • Blithe
    Feb 2, 2016 - 12:23AM

    Miscreants like ik and tuq should be in jail – then you would never see these sort strikes Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Feb 2, 2016 - 2:06AM

    USA air traffic controllers went out on strike after a warning by Ronald Reagan – they thought they were indispensable. Reagan terminated their employment and even put them on a black list so they couldn’t get any other Federal job. If PIA is so important to Pakistan then the govt needs to take similar measures – if not then let PIA fail.Recommend

  • Foreigner
    Feb 2, 2016 - 4:58AM

    @Punjabi

    Imran’s supporters wouldn’t be outside if there wasn’t a reason to protest. Also, this article has nothing to do with Imran. You’re just a hater, stop whining.Recommend

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