KARACHI, Aug 3: The conflict between the management of the Muslim Commercial Bank and the bank’s workers is moving, though slowly, towards a viable solution as the judiciary and the federal authorities have started playing their due roles and as a result of which the strike call for Monday has been withdrawn, it is learnt.

The Sindh High Court has directed the relevant authorities to protect the MCB offices, staffers and customers from any attack while the workers’ union on the request of the federal labour minister has postponed its two-day protest scheduled to begin on August 4.

The SHC had issued its orders on a constitutional petition 1548/2008 filed by the MCB against the government through the Sindh home secretary and the inspector-general of police. Meanwhile, the assistant registrar of the Sindh High Court, Mazhar Ali Siddiqui, has summoned the home secretary and the IG police on the next date of hearing.

The bank had prayed that the government should be directed to fulfil its statutory and constitutional obligations in protecting the petitioner, its staffers and customers so that routine business could be carried out smoothly.

The bank had moved the court as it feared that there might be some demonstrations or protests at its branches on Monday and later.

Well-placed sources told Dawn that Federal Labour Minister Syed Khursheed Shah had discussed the issue with the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and it was decided that a high-level committee would be formed to resolve the issues between the MCB management and the labour union.

The committee is expected to start its work within a few days.

Dialogue urged to resolve conflict

The governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Shamshad Akhtar, pointing out that protests and demonstrations destabilise the economy and shake the confidence of the business community, advised the protesting MCB workers not to take any extreme action.

Talking to the MCB Staff Union’s patron, Saeed Ghani, at her office, the SBP chief stressed the need for the resolution of all issues through discussions without hampering the routine business.

An emergency meeting of the MCB Staff Union (CBA) Shaheed Usman Ghani Group discussing the assurances given by the government regarding the solution of the workers’ issues with the management announced the postponement of the proposed strike.

The meeting with Mr Saeed Ghani in the chair observed that workers were a peace-loving people and did not believe in violence so they were giving the government a chance to solve their issues with the MCB management.

It said that now the strike was being postponed and would not be observed on Aug 4 and 5 and all the workers would perform their duties as normal. It, however, made it clear that the workers would continue their peaceful protest till their resolution of their problems.

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