KARACHI: Represen­ta­tives of PIA employees announced on Sunday they would continue their strike and reiterated their threat to bring all flight operations to a halt from Tuesday (Feb 2) because of what they called the government’s refusal to accept their main demand of calling off the organisation’s privatisation plan.

Announcing the decision at the PIA head office, the chief of Joint Action Com­mittee of PIA Employees (JACPIAE), Sohail Baloch, said the government had not accepted the workers’ demand of scrapping the privatisation plan.

He said that if the government did not call off the plan by Monday all flight operations would be halted from the following day.

He claimed that the employees were united on the issue and were ready to render sacrifices to protect the national flag carrier.

He said that Federal Aviation Secretary Irfan Illahi had called the JACPIAE leaders on Sunday and informed them that the privatisation plan had been shelved for six months and, therefore, protesting employees should end their protest. But he also told the employees’ representatives that he could not guarantee that the airline would not be privatised after six months.

Mr Baloch said that because of the government’s response, the employees had decided to continue their protest till the acceptance of their demand.

Meanwhile, the PIA management has asked the employees to call off their protest and resume duty and said that because of workers’ strike for six days the organisation had incurred a loss of Rs600 million.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2016

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