PIA starts action against strikers

Islamabad, Feb 12 (IANS) National flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started taking action against some 165 of its employees for their involvement in a strike that caused week-long flight suspension, the media reported on Friday.

The PIA management said 11 contractual employees were terminated from their positions on Thursday for their alleged role in the strike that caused cancellation of over 800 international and domestic flights and about 4 billion Pakistani rupees (about $38 million) loss to the national exchequer.

An official source told Dawn online that the PIA management had begun firing “main characters” of the strike on the “direction” of the government.

“The PIA management issued show-cause notices to another 30 employees on Thursday increasing the total number to 165. Members of the Joint Action Committee of the PIA employees may also face the axe as they have been served with notices,” he said, adding that those served with notices were from all major stations, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta.

They have been given a 72-hour deadline to explain their position.

PIA workers on Wednesday alled off the strike against a government privatisation plan after they were invited for talks to listen to their demands.

Two PIA employees were also killed when the law enforcement agencies clashed with the protesting workers in Karachi last week.

The government planned PIA’s privatisation as it runs into losses mainly because of over-staffing.

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