5 – No guarantee of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Pakistan

The ITUC affiliates in Pakistan are the All Pakistan Trade Union Congress (APTUC) and the Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF).

In practice

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Protesting teachers face further water canons, baton charges and arrests04-01-2018

Teachers continued their protests to demand the payment of long overdue salaries, and were again met with repression. On 23 November 2017 dozens of government schoolteachers from the Ghotki district marched on the Sindh Assembly building in protest. The police resorted to a baton charge to beat them back. Protesters and officer bearers of the Teachers’ Action Committee reported that over a dozen teachers were injured. A number of them were also arrested but quickly released.
Another protest followed on 20 December. As the protesting teachers tried to move towards the Sindh Secretariat, the police intervened and again used batons and water cannons to stop them. Some 40 people were arrested. As well as back pay back pay Wages or benefits due an employee for past employment. Often awarded when the employee has been unfairly dismissed. Not to be confused with retroactive pay (delayed payment for work previously done at a lower wage rate). , the teachers were demanding permanent employment status.
On 25 December several hundred teachers again gathered at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) to press for the regularisation of their jobs. As they tried to move towards the Chief Minister’s house, police deployed on the surrounding roads baton-charged them and used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them. A woman teacher, Farzana, fell unconscious after being overcome by the tear gas while another teacher’s nose was damaged during the baton charge. One of the teachers was struck in the head so hard that he was bleeding profusely.
The police used the same tactics on yet another protest on 4 January 2018, and nearly 60 teachers were detained. Just hours later in a meeting with teachers’ representatives, the Chief Minister accepted all their demands unconditionally, which would benefit 33,000 teachers.
The Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah described the police action as unacceptable. He and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal ordered the immediate release of the detained teachers, and action against the policemen who tear-gassed and baton-charged them.

Discrimination against elected union leaders 31-10-2017

After Muhammad Farooq Hassan was elected to lead the union at Metro-Habib Cash & Carry Pakistan, the company stopped paying his salary, from the beginning of October 2017. Fellow union activist Iqtidar suffered the same fate.
There was no disciplinary issue, nor did the management give any reason for what happened apparently only to Hassan and Iqtidar. Efforts to communicate with the management were repeatedly ignored. Hassan and the Metro Habib Workers’ Union had been actively organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. their members in the last round of collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, which resulted in a new agreement with the management in June 2017. The union concluded that the only reason for the salary suspension was anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

.

Police use batons and water canon against protesting teachers19-09-2017

Teachers protesting over the non-payment of their salaries faced baton charges and water cannon as they gathered outside the Karachi Press Club on 13 September. Over 7,500 teachers hired in 2012 had not been paid for their first 16 months of service. Following protests in March and July 2017, the Sindh government had promised to pay the long overdue wages before the September Eid holidays, and the teachers wanted to press for that promise to be honoured.

The teachers had intended to march towards the Chief Minister’s House. However, the police, equipped with riot gear, intercepted them. The police used water cannon and baton-charged the protesters when they failed to talk them out of marching. Scenes of teachers being hit with batons and thrown by the high-velocity stream of water from cannons were broadcast on TV channels. Participants claimed two teachers were injured and three others arrested during the protest.
A further protest was held on 19 September, and police again used water cannon and batons. Twenty teachers were arrested.

Arrest and detention of train drivers’ union leader27-10-2017

On 24 October 2017 Junaid Awan, general secretary of the Karachi Division of the Pakistan Railway Workers Union (PRWU), was arrested and detained in police custody for three days. On 27 October a magistrate remanded the union leader to remain in police custody for a further three days.

His arrest followed a meeting on 7 October calling for the reintroduction of the axed Shah Latif and Mehran express trains. Awan’s lawyer said that the meeting had been called with the permission of the railway authorities. He was held under charges relating to the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Railway Regulations Authority Ordinance. His “crime”, it seems, was to have disrupted the railway service and to have spoken out against the Railways Minister.

Nurses not allowed to stage rally07-06-2017

Local authorities and the police refused to grant permission to protesting nurses to hold a rally in Quetta on 7 June 2017, invoking section 144 of the criminal code. Section 144 is frequently used by the authorities to prevent protests and rallies from going ahead.
The nurses employed at state-run hospitals had been on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
for three days to press the government to accept their demands. The strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
was called by the Nurses Action Committee (NAC) and Balochistan Nurses Association (BNA) who had become frustrated at the persistent failure of the health department to honour their promises regarding their demands, notably over the professional health allowance.

Health workers strike banned10-05-2017

The Peshawar district administration imposed a ban on a proposed strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
by health workers by invoking Section 144 of the criminal code (on unlawful assembly) banning strikes at the city’s hospitals and key access roads.
The Health Employees Council had planned to hold a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 10 May 2017 over allowances for paramedics, and the transfer of some hospital staff. Police were deployed at the district’s hospitals soon after imposition of Section 144, and soon the protest turned into a sit-in. The strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
went ahead at three hospitals.
Legal proceedings were initiated against some of the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
leaders, in the form of a “First Information Report” (FIR) filed with the police. This led to a further strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
by health workers to demand the withdrawal of the FIR and of recent transfer orders for some health workers. A protest rally was held in Jinnah Park under the banner of the All Employees Coordination Council. The rally was addressed by the Coordination Council president Aslam Khan, general secretary Roidar Shah, the Paramedical Association general secretary Luqman Gul, Local Government Employees Union president Malik Naveed, All Pakistan Clerks Association provincial president Sareer Khan, Adnan Azmat and Sanitation Workers Union representatives.
Health department officials finally offered to negotiate their demands, and the rally dispersed peacefully.

Survey shows most workers deprived of fundamental trade union rights 01-05-2016

The government of Pakistan published its annual Labour Force Survey 2014-15 just in time for May Day 2016. The survey estimates that the majority of workers in the agricultural and fishing sector do not even have a legal right to form a trade union under the relevant industrial relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
laws. Similarly, according to former finance minister, Dr Hafiz A. Pasha, only one to two per cent of industrial workers are organised in trade unions. A report by Pakistan Workers Confederation puts the overall level of union membership in the country at about three per cent of the workforce.

Commenting on the survey, Abdul Lateef Nizamani, president of the Wapda Hydroelectric Workers Union, identified one of the major reasons for the very low level of trade union membership in the country as the privatisation over the years of what used to be considered public services, where there used to be a high level of trade union membership. The other more recent phenomenon has been the growth in the use of contract labour, which makes it much harder for workers to form trade unions.

Union busting and mass arrest of hotel workers31-01-2017

Sixty-three members and officers of the Quetta Serena Hotel Union were arrested on 30 November for peacefully gathering in front of the hotel after union members were denied entry and prevented from working.

The union had held a rally at the Quetta Press Club the previous day to protest at union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. by the hotel’s management. Workers reporting to work the day after the rally were issued disciplinary notices (“show cause”) and refused entry to the hotel. Union workers inside the hotel joined those forced to remain outside to ask management why they were not allowed to work. Management’s response was to call the police, who made 63 arrests.

The union had been requesting negotiations on proposals for a new collective agreement since July 2015. Rather than negotiating with the workers’ recognised bargaining representatives, management signed an illegal agreement with a group of individual workers in October 2015 and began harassing union members and officers.

The union received support from the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), which organised a campaign. At the beginning of January the IUF reported that the 63 workers were back at work. Management had not pressed charges or followed through with disciplinary proceedings, and the provincial High Court overturned an earlier labour court decision instigated by the hotel management banning union activity at the hotel. The union was pressing ahead with its demand for the negotiations on a collective agreement.

Sacked for asking for pay rise10-10-2016

Schneider Electric sacked 17 workers in October 2016 for asking for a pay rise, and for permanent employment status. They were all contract workers, but they had worked for Schneider for between three and 12 years. According to the law they should be made permanent if they work for the same employer for more than nine months. As temporary workers they missed out on various benefits, and were on salaries of between USD 113 and USD 151.

One of the sacked workers, Waqas Riaz, said he received a termination letter on 10 October at his home address. He had been working at the company for almost two years. For the past few months, he and his colleagues had been asking management to make them permanent employees and increase their pay. The management refused to do so, and when the workers resisted and started campaigning more vigorously, they were fired.

Union members face harassment at PepsiCo01-07-2016

The PepsiCo Workers’ Union, which represents 650 workers at PepsiCo Pakistan, was officially recognised and granted collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
status in July 2016, but the company has consistently refused to acknowledge the union or its demands. Instead PepsiCo has harassed and threatened union officers, targeting them for disciplinary procedures on false charges. The union president has been transferred out of the plant to prevent contact with members. The company has also registered a fake national union claiming to represent workers at two different sites in order to undercut the Lahore workers’ demand for a negotiated collective agreement. Union members are being denied overtime and pressured to leave the union.

Workers initially formed a union in response to the massive abuse of precarious employment through labour contractors, which denies permanent employment to workers who have worked for years at the plant. Of the more than 1,500 workers employed at the factory in the year to March 2016, only 134 had permanent employment status.

At the beginning of February 2017 workers were still protesting against ongoing harassment of union members.

Education workers arrested during strike 25-10-2016

Police arrested eight teachers taking part in a protest outside the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in Islamabad on 25 October 2016. Over 100 daily-wage teachers along with non-teaching staff were protesting against non-payment of their salaries and for regular contracts.

Representatives of the teachers headed by Ahsan Bangash, Ahsan Sikandri, Nadeem Turi and Fahad Mairaj said government officers had used force against the teachers.

The teachers were later released after the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation opposition leader Ali Awan intervened.

Over 100 arrested for striking for better wages29-09-2016

The Banda Daud Shah police arrested more than 100 employees of the Hungarian-based MOL Pakistan Oil & Gas Company for protesting at the main gates of the Central Processing Facility in Makori on 29 September 2016. The daily-wage workers had been on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
for several weeks to demand better wages and permanent jobs.

After workers blocked the facility’s main gates, restricting the movement of MOL Pakistan vehicles, the company called the police, who arrived and arrested more than 100 protesters. The workers were taken to various police stations in the district for questioning.

The arrests angered local residents, who took to the streets and blocked the Kohat-Bannu GT Road to demand the immediate unconditional release of workers. The people pointed out that MOL Pakistan exploited their workers, ignored their rights and had been denying then permanent jobs for years.

Sacked for demanding safety at work16-05-2016

About 360 ship breaking workers were sacked on 16 May 2016, in retaliation for filing police cases against employers regarding injury and deaths at ship breaking yards in Pakistan.

The 15,000 or more workers in the ship breaking industry in Pakistan face dangerous and deplorable working conditions, resulting in an alarming number of injuries and deaths.

All stages of breaking ships are very dangerous, involving x-ray welding, gas cutting, handling chemical substances, removal of asbestos, shifting of iron and steel sheets and discharge of poisonous gases. However, workers undertake these tasks without any training or safety equipment. In March 2016, for example, Muhammad Asif, a 28-year old ship breaker, died at work as a workstation caught fire. Two months later 22-year old Shahid Khan died on the spot when a heavy iron plate fell over him.

In addition to performing dangerous tasks, workers do not have access to clean drinking water or restrooms. Almost all of them work without a formal contract, get meagre wages, are forced to work overtime and have no access to government sponsored social security provisions. They are recruited through contractors, locally known as “jamaadars”, with scant regard for labour laws.
Following the sackings the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) organised a two-day strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, which led to the workers being reinstated, with pay. Workers’ representatives continued to press their demands for better safety standards and improved working conditions.

Two airline workers killed and eight injured in anti-privatisation protest09-02-2016

The paramilitary Pakistan Rangers shot at protesting Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) workers on 2 February 2016, killing two and injuring at least eight.

The PIA Joint Action Committee, an alliance of trade unions, had been protesting against privatisation plans for over a week, fearing it would result in widespread job losses. Instead of entering into negotiations, however, the government extended the Essential Services essential services Services the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. Can include the hospital sector, electricity and water supply services, and air traffic control. Strikes can be restricted or even prohibited in essential services.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
Act on 1 February, the day before the planned strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, to cover PIA employees for six months. In doing so, it barred them from taking any trade union action and meant that anyone taking part in the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
risked being sacked, fined and even imprisoned.

The workers were determined to go ahead regardless, but when they arrived for their peaceful demonstration, they found law enforcement officers fully equipped to repress their action with force. Television footage showed police and Rangers personnel using batons, water cannon and tear gas against protesters. Eyewitnesses and reporters heard gunshots being fired at the unarmed protestors as they clashed with the Rangers. The two shot and killed in those clashes were named as PIA employees Enayat Raza and Saleem Akbar.
In the early hours of 3 February, Pakistan Rangers took into custody Mr Hidayat Ullah, president, Peoples Unity of PIA Employees, Mr Zameer Chandio, vice president, and two union leaders, Mr Mansoor Dhillo and Mr Saifullah Larak, from the PIA Township. Residents reported that late in the night Ranger personnel arrived in trucks, and stayed outside the compound. Persons dressed in plain clothes raided the houses, took the union leaders and put them into the trucks. The authorities denied the arrests, and the four captives were released by unidentified men six days later.
The JAC ended the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 9 February, after the government agreed to negotiate.

Power loom workers denied right to negotiate18-09-2015

Two and a half months after an agreement was signed assuring power loom workers in Faisalabad that negotiations on wages and workers rights would begin, not a single meeting had been held. The Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) staged a long march on 18 September 2015 to highlight their grievances, and called it off after assurances had been given that their issues would be addressed. By December, the factory owners had still not consented to a meeting. The only penalties imposed on the employers by the district authorities were small fines.

Workers’ representatives dismissed for demanding rights28-11-2015

Eighty-eight workers of the Denim Clothing Company (DCC) — a factory that manufactures clothes for international brands such as H&M and Primark — were sacked in the last week of November 2015 for demanding their rights.
The workers had no social security, no insurance, no medical facilities and low salaries that came on no specific date, and decided to take up their concerns before the management. On 26 November, the workers held a meeting at which they chose five representatives to hold talks with the management. At noon, the team went to the manager’s chamber. They never returned to their stations. They had been fired on the spot.
In solidarity, 83 of their colleagues went to management to demand the reinstatement of their five representatives. They were also dismissed on the spot.

Shell responds to organising by deploying troops16-06-2015

Multinational oil giant Shell has consistently sought to prevent employees in Pakistan from organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. . The workers from Shell Pakistan’s Lubricant oil blending plant in Keamari, Karachi, first attempted to register their Insaf Shell Pakistan Workers Union in 2013. Shell appealed against the registration on grounds that the 300 contract workers were not officially Shell employees.
However with the support of the Pakistan Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine, and General Workers’ Union (PCEM) the 300 workers were granted permanent contracts, and on 16 July 2015 Pakistan’s trade union registrar dismissed the management’s appeal and allowed the registration of the union to go ahead.
Instead of recognising the new union and bargaining a new collective agreement, Shell Pakistan’s management filed another appeal before the national trade union registrar in Islamabad to stop a workplace union vote proceeding. This second appeal was also dismissed, on 30 October.
Rather than allow the vote to go ahead, Shell Pakistan deployed paramilitary rangers at the plant on 17 November. The company then appointed 100 new workers through contractors and outsourced the packaging work of lubricant oil.

Disciplinary action against union leaders15-08-2015

Management at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) decided to take strict action in August 2015 against the 18 employees who had been leading protests against a decision to change the status of the Institute. A bill passed in 2013 had given the institute university status and had changed the status of the employees from civil servants to private sector workers.
The Chairman of the Pims United Action Committee, Mohammad Riaz Gujar, said they were protesting on behalf of both workers and patients. Pims had been a welfare hospital but had become an autonomous body, and was steadily increasing its fees. The hospital authorities were threatening dismissal.

National database denies union rights to thousands of workers30-04-2015

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) — a department of the Interior Ministry — marked Labour Day by denying its nearly 17,000 workers their fundamental right to form a union. NADRA refused to recognise the All Pakistan NADRA Employee’s Union (APNEU), which it considered illegal and unofficial, stating that any activity through this platform was ‘liable to be prosecuted as per law’.
On 30 April NADRA employees protested in Karachi to demand union recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. . The response of management was to issue a circular which said, “All NADRA employees fall under Essential Services essential services Services the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. Can include the hospital sector, electricity and water supply services, and air traffic control. Strikes can be restricted or even prohibited in essential services.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
Group. Under Article 7-A of Pakistan Essential Services essential services Services the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. Can include the hospital sector, electricity and water supply services, and air traffic control. Strikes can be restricted or even prohibited in essential services.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
(Maintenance) Act 1952, NADRA employees are prohibited to participate in any activity through the platform of labour union under the Industrial Relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
Act.” Any violation would be liable to imprisonment for up to one year including a fine.
The unofficial union’s general secretary, Salman Zuberi, said they had succeeded in registering the NADRA employees union through the National Industrial Relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
Commission (NIRC), but NADRA management had appealed to the Islamabad High Court to rule against it and the matter was pending in court.
In the ongoing dispute between the workers and management, another leader of NADRA resigned from his post over the issue. The official had been playing the role of a mediator between the workers and management.

Union membership at record low30-04-2015

According to a report titled ‘Status of Labour Rights in Pakistan: 2014’ published by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) on 30 April 2015, only one per cent of Pakistan’s labour force is unionised. Other organisations give alternative statistics, but all show that the level of union membership is extremely low. During a May Day rally the General Secretary of the All Pakistan Trade Unions Federation (APTUF) Aima Mehmood claimed five per cent of workers in the nation were unionised while the figure for women stood one per cent. Some put the figure at around two per cent.

Piler, the APTUF and others blame the low level of unionisation on weak law enforcement and the failure to respect ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
standards. The prevalence of the informal sector has a major impact. Gul Rehman, the president of the Workers Right Movement, speaking at a rally on 7 October 2015 to mark the World Day for Decent Work, said that more than 75 per cent of the labour force in Pakistan was working in informal sector where the contract system and involvement of third party contractors had deprived them of their basic rights. The continued existence of bonded labour also has an influence, as does the attitude of employers who simply ignore applications for union recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. .

Police intervention in strike and refusal to bargain31-03-2013
Anti-union discrimination30-04-2013

In April 2013, management of Kraft Foods Pakistan locked out members of the Cadbury Pakistan Progressive Employees Union and attacked union leaders when negotiation over wages, benefits and job security reached a deadlock. Disciplinary action against union leader Muhammad Saleem was initiated in order to dismiss him, in violation of a valid collective agreement.

Dismissal for strike action18-02-2013

More than 400 young doctors who had participated in a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
to protest about criminal cases lodged against their colleagues in the wake of the Gujranwala DHQ hospital incident were dismissed. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had promised to withdraw the actions against the young doctors at a meeting with representatives of the Young Doctors Association Punjab at his Model Town residence on 18 February 2013. However, Jinnah Hospital refused to reinstate 200 doctors — 55 Medical Officers, postgraduate trainees and house officers — despite written orders from the health authorities.

Mining company refuses to recognise union30-04-2013

The Duddar Mineral Development Company Labour Union was registered on 23 September 2012. As per legal procedure, the union submitted its “Charter of Demands” to the management of MMC Duddar Mine for negotiation. However, management refuses to recognise the representative and lawful character of the union. Instead union members and leaders have been harassed. When the mine workers instigated a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, following the legal procedure, they secured a pay rise and improved working hours. However, management still refuses to recognise the union as the workers’ representative.

Continued danger to journalists30-11-2010

Six journalists were killed in Pakistan during the first seven months of the year. Mohammad Rafique Baloch, a senior journalist and vice-president of the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) was on his way to the Sindh High Court, in Karachi on March when he was kidnapped, beaten and later released. In May, senior journalist Nasrullah Afridi and member of the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) was murdered in Peshawar. Provincial authorities had failed to provide him with security despite being aware of threats to his life. In May, the body of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was found. Reports suggest that Shahzad was detained by members of the intelligence arm of the Pakistan military, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Shahzad had reported receiving threats from ISI members.

Violence, arrests in demonstrations and strikes30-11-2010

Strikes are often broken up by police and used by employers to justify dismissals. Union leaders are often arrested. Marches and protests also occur regularly despite the repercussions.

On 11 January, police and paramilitaries attacked a peaceful protest organised by workers Karachi Airport, injuring many and arresting union leaders.

Two were injured when police used batons and teargas to stop low-paid contract employees of provincial education department in Karachi on 18 February. At least 12 were arrested.

In March, batons and tear-gas were used against a demonstration by female health workers in Sindh province. Around 36 of the protestors were said to have been arrested.

At least eight doctors were injured and 50 arrested during a demonstration in Quetta on 14 June.

In July, extra troops were deployed to disperse mass protests in Karachi. At least 65 people were killed.

Anti-union discrimination30-11-2010

Employers often strongly resist the unionisation of their employees, resorting to intimidation, dismissal and blacklisting. Managers at the Reko Diq project of Tethyan Copper Co. suspended 12 union activists in April, while the General Secretary of the Syngenta Employees Union Pakistan was sacked on 22 December.

Strikes: illegal and dangerous31-12-2010

The strikes that do occur are, given the complications attached to organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, usually illegal and short. They are often broken up by police and used by employers to justify dismissals. Union leaders are often arrested. Marches and protests also occur regularly despite the repercussions.

For example in September, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots from the Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) began a work-to-rule work-to-rule A form of industrial action whereby the workers strictly adhere to all laws, rules and principles that apply to their work, effecting a slowdown. action as part of a demand to ensure that safety measures were adhered to and that overwork was reduced. The government then invoked the Essential Services essential services Services the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. Can include the hospital sector, electricity and water supply services, and air traffic control. Strikes can be restricted or even prohibited in essential services.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
Maintenance Act 1958, often used to intimidate workers and to prevent industrial action industrial action Any form of action taken by a group of workers, a union or an employer during an industrial dispute to gain concessions from the other party, e.g. a strike, go-slow or an overtime ban, or a lockout on the part of the employer. in the name of ensuring that essential services essential services Services the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. Can include the hospital sector, electricity and water supply services, and air traffic control. Strikes can be restricted or even prohibited in essential services.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
are maintained. One month later, on 25 October, PIA management dismissed two senior pilots, one of whom was previously the union’s joint secretary, reportedly without any notice or hearing for their part in the action.

Employers circumvent legislation31-12-2010

Employers often strongly resist the unionisation of their employees, with management resorting to intimidation, dismissal and blacklisting. If an employer is opposed to the formation of a union, the procedure for union registration and the appeals process can take many years. Sometimes the employers artificially promote workers to managerial status, usually without the concomitant salary increase, so that they no longer qualify for union membership. The economic crisis resulted in an increasing numbers of businesses ignoring the law with the sometimes overt support of the authorities. This has led to reduced wages and benefits as well as weaker rights, since workers are more afraid to claim their rights in case they lose their jobs.

Anti-union discrimination in banks30-11-2009

In recent years, hundreds of trade union leaders have been dismissed under the terms of the Banking Companies (Amendment) Act, 1997. In 2009 in an effort to lift the restrictions on trade union activities in banks, Deputy Secretary General of the Pakistan Peoples Party filed a private members bill against the legislation. In addition, the Pakistan Workers’ Federation has reported reprisals against trade unionists by the National Bank of Pakistan while in November 2009, Imran Usman, a member of the Muslim Commercial Bank Staff Union, was reportedly abducted for his union activities.

Strikes: illegal and dangerous30-11-2009

The strikes that do occur are, given the complications attached to organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, usually illegal and short. They are often broken up by police and used by employers to justify dismissals. Marches and protests do occur regularly despite the repercussions. Some are successful. For example the demonstration by union workers at the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) led finally to management agreeing small increases to the salary grades for line workers in May 2009. Workers at the Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union protested in July after linesmen’s families were not compensated after workers were killed at the workplace in the escalating political violence. Other strikes, however, lead directly and quickly to violence and the arrest of union leaders.

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