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PAKISTAN: PTCL workers continue strike

Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Union chairman and other labor leaders call for nationwide protests

Monday, July 21, 2008

HYDERABAD --- Workers of Pakistan Telecommunication Company continued their protest on Monday in many cities and towns of the province in protest against introduction of unified pay scale scheme by the company management.

The management has far not responded to their demand for withdrawal of unified pay scale (UPS), which the workers and CBA union leaders said was aimed at changing cadre of regular employees.

Workers in Hyderabad went to office but did not do work. They gathered on the main road outside the old Central Telegraph Office (CTO) compound and staged protest.

Central deputy chief organiser of Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Union (PTEU) CBA Shakeel Ahmed Khan, central joint secretary Shafi Mallah and central vice-chairman Ghaffar Sheikh said they would not budge from the principled stand.

They said that at the time of privatisation of PTCL the union was assured that the cadre of regular employees would not be changed and no regular employee would be sacked.

When Etesalat backed out of the deal the then Privatisation Commission Chairman Hafeez Sheikh went to Dubai and reportedly signed another agreement with the company whose contents had not been disclosed since then.

They said that PTCL management asked CBA leaders to first call off strike and then it would invite them to negotiations but the leaders stressed that first the management should invite them to talks and then they would call off strike after the demands had been accepted.

In Larkana, PTCL workers locked offices and phone exchanges and held a demonstration at the main gate of old phone exchange building.

Zulfikar Sangi, chairman of the union, and other labour leaders urged the PTCL bosses to take back the UPS and accept their charter of demands.

They threatened to jam telecommunications system, give call for a countrywide protest and encircle PTCL headquarters in Islamabad.

PTCL employees in Shahdadkot also observed strike.

Date Posted: 7/21/2008

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