ISLAMABAD: The federal government is poised to invoke an essential services law to discourage Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots and engineers from going on strike and adopting go-slow campaigns, it is learnt reliably on Saturday.
The airline’s pilots and engineers will now be placed under the essential services ordinance. A senior official requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune that the ministry of interior has issued a notification for the implementation of the decision.
He said the government had decided to consider the services of PIA’s pilots under the ordinance to avoid a go-slow policy adopted by pilots.
The official said that the government was facing huge losses due to the strikes being observed by pilots from time to time. He said that passengers were also facing a lot of problems.
He said that pilots were defaming Pakistan by adopting the go-slow policy. Pilots have adopted the policy of following flight schedules of their own and they keep ignoring the losses incurred by the national flag carrier, the official said.
He said that the government and managing director of PIA Aijaz Haroon had tried to resolve the issue between the government and pilots amicably but to no avail. He said that according to the notification issued by the ministry of interior, the defence ministry could take action against pilots and engineers of PIA if they continued their go-slow policy.
The official said, “The government has taken the decision in the larger interest of Pakistan as passengers were in trouble and they had to wait for long hours to leave their desired destination by PIA flights”.
The airline’s spokesman Syed Sultan Hassan said that though PIA had earlier met the demands of the pilots, they had come up with the new ones. He said that most of the demands are illegal.
PIA had suffered loss of millions of rupees following the cancellation of many local and international flights, the official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2010.
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