KARACHI: Hundreds of passengers were stranded for at least four hours as a dispute between the labour union of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and senior management saw some operations halted on Wednesday.
The union stopped operations on at least four flights on Wednesday evening to protest against their management's decision to remove Lahore's ticket office manager Rauf Ahmed.
A PIA spokesperson told the Express Tribune that the four hour long negotiations had concluded successfully, but did not provide any details. "It was departmental matter and I can't tell you more right now."
The information secretary of collective bargaining agent (CBA), the labour union, Faisal Kayani had previously vowed that they will not relent. "Government can use all its political influence but we won't back off."
"We told the management that it cannot let the politicians interfere in PIA affairs. The manager was suspended without any worthy reason."
The CBA is currently controlled by the Peoples Unity labour group.
The union had stopped pilots and cabin crew from operating on four flights including PK-731 from Karachi to Jeddah, PK-350 from Karachi to Peshawar, PK-306 from Karachi to Lahore and PK-540 from Karachi to Sukkur.
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@Muslim Leaguer: Why all the time muslim leaguers emphasise the retrenchment of employees,though every body knows that poor employees have nothing to do with ills of pia these all are political leaders who played havoc with this organisation.Please dont advice such things to Mian Sahib,PIA staff is most capable staff of the world at cheapest salaries, these employees can get best jobs anywhere in the world but PIA will never get such employees at such a cheap salaries.
@saleem, very few people in pakistan understand the dynamics of the Airline bussiness,all the day the media anchors use to critisice the PIA and always mix the affairs of airline with steel mill,railways and other irrelevant entities.it is for ur kind information that out of 500 billions tax losses 400 billions r eatenup by ur power utilities nd remainining 100 billions by other organizations.PIA is national asset,u might b astonished to know that presently majority of airline staff is living below poverty line, they cant even afford the education of their children.Instead of such harsh situation they r working day nd night to keep this airline operational.PIA is only respectable connection of all pakistanis living in different parts of the world,our staff has lot of expertise to turnaround this airline just to provide honest and dedicated leadership.No body should b worried about the affairs of PIA,we r trying our level best to reduce the losses,leakages and corruption n the airline and brought back this airline in the club of star airlines within one year time.In next comments i vl provide the plan which must be doable in next one week,I hope the highups will consider the same with full honesty.Have a passion
the military is also miling the tax payers money. The biggest corruption and theft is no taxes on agriculture income. Individuals like Imran Khan, Nawaz Shareef, Shahbaz shareef pay a measly 15,000 or 20,000 per month as income taxes but look at their life styles.
PIA is not run into the ground by employee / plane ratios etc as the cost of employees in Pakistan is only a fraction of what it is internationally. What is running PIA into the ground is the media and politicians who for some reason are bigger experts on airlines then the people sitting in PIA with vast experiences. When PIA wants to buy new planes, people shout corruption, when it does not, people shout old and dangerous planes. Its a situation of damned if you do and damned if you dont.
PIA needs to be allowed to be like any international airlines where religion, media and politics does not dictate business terms. If the norm is drinks on flights, then that should be the norm. If the norm is young and good looking airhostesses, then that should be the norm for PIA as well. Travel and entertainment industry can only survive with this.
PIA and its Unions are thriving on taxpayers money. They have nothing to be proud off and their dismal performance can't be overlooked. Government needs to clean up management as well as its union and fire anyone and everyone who is not at par. If any one in management or union has any issue then he/she might as well hit the road as taxpayers can't afford these white elephants anymore. And if that means to shut down PIA and fire all its employees then so be it as they deserve it.
It is time to run the airline as any other business entity, these unions are too strong for their own good, they will rather see the airline run it in the ground rather than cut this employees passenger ratio. It is bloated and bloated to the extent that it will be grounded pretty soon unless some one takes measures to cut this humongous expenses on the backs of the tax payers.
Most likely solution is allow competition to provide services on the same routes.
PIA is already at the brink of bankruptcy because of over-staffing, corruption, nepotism and bad management by PPP's jiyalas.... It has debts of more than Rs 100 billion and it's losses are paid through taxpayers money. In order to save the taxpayer's money, the government should fire all these goons from PIA and then restructure & privatise the national flag carrier before it is too late!