PIA workers continue protests on 2nd day

KARACHI/LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) continued their strike for the second consecutive day on Wednesday against proposed privatization of the airline.

The strike, yesterday, affected booking and inquiry services as workers boycotted office work in different cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Quetta, on a call given by union leaders.

The airline employees also held protest demonstrations, urging the government to shun it plan to privatize PIA.

The union has threatened to suspend flight operations from next month, if demands were not met.

PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani claimed that the national flag carrier’s booking and inquiry services remained undisturbed by the strike.

PIA management has requested the union leaders not to close down PIA’s offices as it may result in causing inconvenience to passengers across the country.

Any disruption in flight schedule will not only cause huge losses to the national airline and compromise PIA’s standards and productivity but also create problems for the travelers,” Gilani added.

The strike comes five days after National Assembly piloted a bill with majority to convert PIA into a public limited company (The Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (conversion) Bill, 2015.

The motion to pass the PIA (conversion) Bill, 2015 was moved by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed. He said the step had been taken to improve performance and financial position of PIA.

The opposition members strongly criticized the move and said they had reservations over the bill. They said the bill should not be passed in such haste as they have written their note of dissent on it. They said the opposition should be taken into confidence on the bill. NNI

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