RAWALPINDI: The management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) delivered to striking employees on Sunday night a letter about the application of Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952.

The employees protesting against the government move to privatise the national flag carrier had rejected the Act after it was imposed on Feb 2, and threatened to bring the flight operations to a standstill.

The Act empowered the management to take action against those employees who abstained from their duties.

When contacted, PIA spokesman Daniyal Gilani confirmed that the letter had been sent to all protesting employees of the organisation to make them aware that their strike was illegal.

The letter says the law envisages serious penalties, including dismissal from service and imprisonment for a maximum period of one year along with a fine, for the protesting employees. The Act has been imposed for six months.

The employees were advised in the letter to refrain from indulging in any activity tantamount to an offence under the Act, failing which they might become liable for prosecution in court, besides facing disciplinary action under the corporation’s rules.

The copies of the Act were also sent to officials concerned of the PIA management.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2016

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