PIA employees protest against converting PIA into a corporation



PIA employees protest in Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar against the decision

Employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) protested on Monday, against the decision of converting PIA into a corporation.

According to details, the employees of PIA in Karachi protested in the national airline’s head office and chanted slogans against the decision. Check-in counter remained closed due to the protest of the staff. Many flights were delayed and passengers could not get their boarding passes because of the protest.

The airline’s employees at Faisalabad airport also protested against the decision and threatened that they would stop working to register their protest. In Multan, employees demonstrated for 2 hours and protested on Abdali road while in Peshawar, PIA staff protested at Bacha Khan airport and demonstrated their protest by tying black ribbons on their arms.

Some 51 flights scheduled by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been cancelled in three days since the pilots refused to work following a dispute over conditions, an airline spokesman said on Saturday.

“Due to pressure from Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA), so far 51 flights have been cancelled and it has affected 5,000 passengers since Thursday,” spokesman for PIA Danyal Gilani said in a statement.

The row started after the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority suspended the licences of two pilots for one and two years respectively for “unlawfully operating a flight without permission,” he said.

“In the guise of their personal agenda, PALPA leadership is blackmailing the management to agree to unjust promotions and unjustified benefits for PALPA executives,” the spokesman said.

PALPA Vice President Sadiq Rehman denied that pilots were exercising a “go slow” or observing a strike, but they were not taking on extra work and this is why the flights were cancelled.

“We are not on a strike or go slow and are only following the agreement with the management,” Rehman told media.

“I have just flown a regular flight today,” he added.

“Our main issue is that the management is asking one man to do the job of two, and get the salary of one and a half men. We want this to end,” Rehman said.

He added that the association was ready for negotiations.

The state-owned PIA has a fleet of 41 aircraft which include Boeing 777, Airbus A320 and ATR, and 436 active pilots.