Pakistan: Pakistan Telecommunications headquarters reoccupied

In an indication of huge anger at the government serious escalation, 4000 workers have re-occupied the PTCL headquarters.

This was a result of the breakdown in negotiations today. These workers were mobilised by activists of the different unions from their homes within one hour of the breakdown of negotiations. The union Action Committee has decided to boycott further negotiations in protest against the refusal of the government officials to negotiate seriously.

Representatives of the Action Committee said to telecommunication workers: “Government officials are not serious in wanting to resolve this dispute. They want us to sign the agreement to accept privatisation at gun point. They are continually insulting and threatening us”.

The government officials want to announce a new date for privatisation as soon as possible and want the signatures of the Action Committee to accept privatisation without any resistance.

The Action Committee has called for rolling strike action in the different provinces of Pakistan – at the moment Telecommunications workers in NWFP are out on strike. It has warned management that if the government proceeds with announcing a new date for privatisation unilaterally then they will completely shutdown the telecommunications system of Pakistan. They have said the same will happen if any union members are arrested.

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June 2005