Govt to invoke law to discourage pilot strikes

The government had decided to consider the services of PIA’s pilots under a new ordinance to avoid a go-slow policy.

Sohail Chaudhry August 29, 2010

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.


abrar | 11 years ago | Reply if only there was an investigate paper like News of the World, it would have uncovered the personal files of the controversial man chosen by PPP to run PIA, or their choice of the Director Marketing. In any other civilized country with a vibrating democratic system, these men would be behind bars, instead of ruining PIA.
T. Ali | 11 years ago | Reply So the PPP government has invoked emergency laws, almost a mini martial law in PIA to support its crony. Is this the democracy and good governance that was promised. Would Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto or Benazir have invoked these emergency rules that take away the right of expression and representation to a group of professionals in PIA. On the contrary both of them condemned such laws. If PIA is going in a loss, or if it has been relegated to be the second worst airline in the world(interms of dealys)for the year 2009, by a US based autonomous body Flight Stats, recognised by IATA, the problem is with its poor management. Do you know what are the qualifications and relevant management experience of PIA's MD, or its Director Marketing, or its DMD and others. The pilots of PIA or its engineers must not resort to frequent go-slows. Similarly its management should be able to avoid un-necessary confrontation with individual groups of professionals. After all an agreement was signed between PALPA and MD of PIA on 6th Aug, but strangely PIA went to the Sind High Court the same day. The pilots have a point when they insist on rest requirements, since accumulated fatigue does lead to air crashes or accidents. The Air Blue CVR and Flight Data Recorder read outs are available and reports suggest pilot error. The pilot was rehired after retirement from PIA, having a medical history and in addition he was not properly rested. Inspite of his vast experience he did not follow procedures. Do we learn lessons from such air crashes, or will continue to refuse to reveal the investigations. After all it is the safety of passengers that is at stake, which should have a priority over individual egos and nepotism.
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