LAHORE - PIA management has enforced Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (ESA) on all classes of employment in the airline abolishing various rights of the employees including going on strike whereas workers have rejected it.

The application of this Act imposes a number of obligations on the employees of PIACL with regard to performance of their duties, breach of which is not only a misconduct under company’s rules but also an offence under this act. President of Peoples Unity of PIA employees Hadaytullah has warned that they would go on strike after taking permission from National Industrial Relation Commission (NIRC) against management decision of ESA.

A notification in this effect has been issued on Thursday with picture of Markhor on the top right side of the letter. It is worth mentioning here that Supreme Court of Pakistan had directed PIA management not to inscribe Markhor picture on the tail of the planes removing national flag. Reacting upon the management decision of imposition of ESA, Hadaytullah Khan said, “I have called general body meeting on Friday (today) to chalk out the future plan”.

He was of the view that reason behind the ESA is to press the voice of the employees against corruption of the management.  He was of the view that Unity was raising voice against illegal appointment of CEO, Musharraf Rasool Cyan and painting of Markhore picture on the tail of the planes.

PIA management stated in Supreme Court of Pakistan that painting of Markhor will cost Rs3.9 million but when purchase order was surfaced it was revealed that painting would cost Rs6.9 million per aircraft. Hadaytullah was of the view that CEO was trying to embezzle Rs3b in this project only. He said that CEO tried to receive maximum cost of painting. As per PIA rules any expense of Rs7m is supposed to be referred to Board of Director for approval and below this it was authority of CEO so cost of painting one plane was shown Rs6.9m.

The Unity leader has also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against appointment of CEO and other top management.  Hadaytullah said that letter was issued only to teach a lesson to union leaders. The letter speaks, with effect from July 9th all classes of employment in the PIACL have been declared by the federal government to which the Pakistan Essential Services Act 1952 shall apply for a period of six months. The said Act provides that it shall have effect, not withstanding anything contrary contained in the Industrial Relations Act 2012 or any other law framed there under.

Any person found guilty of an offence under this act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine.