ISLAMABAD - The Senate Committee on Aviation directed the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to negotiate with the protesting employees to address their grievances.
The Committee met under the chair of Senator Hidayatullah on Tuesday and discussed the ongoing strike by employees of the national carrier against privatization plans.
During the meeting, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani emphasized that workers had a right to engage in any type of action for their fundamental rights, calling for the withdrawal of an FIR registered against PIA employees.
The meeting was attended by Amir Hayat, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who said PIA was ready to negotiate with employees, but violation of law would not be tolerated.
During the meeting, another issue regarding the pension of Civil Aviation Authority was also taken up but a sub-committee was formed to investigate the matter.
On another issue, the PIA chief informed the lawmakers that the salaries of PIA employees had not been raised over the past seven years due to financial challenges.
It bears mentioning that PIA employees are protesting against the plans to privatize the airline as the carrier is not economically viable and needs regular support from the government.
A few days ago, the People’s Unity of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) known as the CBA union announced that all district-level booking offices of the national airline would be closed for 2 hours as a token strike. Addressing a press conference, PIA CBA consortium President Hidayatullah announced that the strike would be against the privatization of the national airline.
Hidayatullah gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the PIA administration and the interim government to refrain from privatizing the national carrier and said the union would take important decisions soon.
Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) had given its nod to privatize Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) which is facing a severe financial crisis.
The participants of CCoP after deliberation decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd (PIA) in the list of active privatization projects of the ongoing privatization program.
The decision to privatize PIA comes amid measures to reduce the losses of the national exchequer through different state-owned enterprises; the national carrier is also set to resume flights to the United Kingdom and other European destinations by October.
Earlier, the previous PDM-led federal government decided to outsource the operations at three international airports of the country located in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad.
In this regard, then Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique told newsmen that the Islamabad International Airport would be outsourced for 15 years.
The outsourcing of three airports has been kicked off within the scope of a public-private partnership to engage private investors/airport operators through a competitive and transparent process.
Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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