PIA to fire 2100 employees

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—Whilst clouds of uncertainty hover over the future of Pakistan International Airlines after failure of government and opposition parties to arrive at a consensus about the future of the national flag carrier, the top administration of Pakistan International Airlines has decided in principle to fire at least two thousand and one hundred employees, mostly contractual staff, on different grounds.
According to sources fully familiar with the developments in this regard, the termination letters have been prepared and are ready to be dispatched through the PIA courier service Speedex at the residences of the employees.
Giving details of the employees being fired, the sources said some of the employees are being sacked for having fake degrees. Over the years, the national flag carrier has shown zero tolerance towards the fake degree holders. Therefore, after verification process, a number of employees has been identified as having fake degrees and they will be fired very soon, the sources added.
Referring to the protest of the employees of PIA in the month of February against privatization process which brought flight operations of the airline to complete halt, the sources said that about three hundred employees were being sacked for causing damage to the property and resources of the organization. After the imposition of Essential Services Maintenance Act the Prime Minister had also warned the employees of dire consequences including dismissal or imprisonment if they persisted with the protest that caused loss of billion of rupees to the airline and brought inconvenience to the travelers. Under the Services Act which bars union activity, any person found guilty of an offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and is also liable to a fine.
The sources said the third category of employees that are being shown the door are the contractual employees. They said most of these employees were recruited in the era of Pakistan Peoples Party and as they have served their contract period, their services are not being rehired or their contract is not being renewed given the current financial constraints of the airline. According to the sources, this dire step has been taken to stand the airline on its own feet.

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