PIA work­ers con­tinue protests on 2nd day

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

LA­HORE: Em­ploy­ees of Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA) con­tin­ued their strike for the se­cond con­sec­u­tive day on Wed­nes­day against pro­posed pri­va­ti­za­tion of the air­line. The strike af­fected book­ing and in­quiry ser­vices as work­ers boy­cotted of­fice work in dif­fer­ent cities, in­clud­ing Karachi, La­hore, Is­lam­abad and Quetta, on a call given by union lead­ers.

The air­line em­ploy­ees also held protest demon­stra­tions, urg­ing the govern­ment to shun it plan to pri­va­tize Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines. The union has threat­ened to sus­pend flight op­er­a­tions from next month, if de­mands were not met. Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines spokesman Danyal Gi­lani claimed that the na­tional flag car­rier's book­ing and in­quiry ser­vices re­mained undis­turbed by the strike. Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines man­age­ment has re­quested the union lead­ers not to close down PIA's of­fices as it may re­sult in caus­ing in­con­ve­nience to pas­sen­gers across the coun­try.

Any dis­rup­tion in flight sched­ule will not only cause huge losses to the na­tional air­line and com­pro­mise PIA's stan­dards and pro­duc­tiv­ity but also cre­ate prob­lems for the trav­el­ers," Gi­lani added. The strike comes five days af­ter Na­tional As­sem­bly pi­loted a bill with ma­jor­ity to con­vert Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines into a pub­lic lim­ited com­pany (The Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines Cor­po­ra­tion (con­ver­sion) Bill, 2015.

The mo­tion to pass the Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (con­ver­sion) Bill, 2015 was moved by State Min­is­ter for Par­lia­men­tary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed. He said the step had been taken to im­prove per­for­mance and fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines.

The op­po­si­tion mem­bers strongly crit­i­cized the move and said they had reser­va­tions over the bill. They said the bill should not be passed in such haste as they have writ­ten their note of dis­sent on it. They said the op­po­si­tion should be taken into con­fi­dence on the bill.

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