Pakistan: Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan (TURCP) in Sindh rejects ban on teachers’ organisations.

Reinstate 144 sacked leaders of teachers organisations

The Trade Union Rights Campaign recently organised a protest meeting in Dadu, Sindh against the ban on teachers’ organisations there. More than 130 trade union activists attended the meeting. Almost all local unions in the area participated in the meeting. The meeting was presided over by TURCP National Organiser Khalid Bhatti. 16 speakers from different unions and organisations spoke at the meeting. TURCP Sindh organizer Hameed Chana opened the meeting and strongly condemned the ban on teachers’ organisations. He said that government want to destroy the strongest workers organisations in Sindh( the teachers union is the largest workers organisation in Sindh with 145,000 members).

This union has a proud history of struggle and resistance against anti-workers policies of the elite. Now the government is attacking the teachers to weaken their strength. He said the present right wing leadership of teachers union is responsible for the present crisis and attacks. The leadership capitulated to the government and the authorities took this as a sign of weakness.

TURCP national organizer Khalid Bhatti said that government banned the teachers’ organisations to start the privatization of schools and colleges. This ban is the first step in that direction. This government wants to privatize all the main educational institutions in the province which are providing very cheap education to poor working class students. Privatisation will make it impossible for working class youth to study in these institutions. The government wants to break the teachers power to make it sure that there should not be any resistance or opposition to the privatization policy.

The meeting also condemned the sacking of 144 teachers’ union leaders from their jobs and demanded their immediate reinstatement. The meeting unanimously passed a resolution to call a general strike in Sindh against the ban and sackings. The participants agreed to form a workers committee to contact other trade unions and workers organisations to get support for teachers struggle. A TURCP leaflet in Sindhi was also distributed and 20 trade union activists showed an interest in joining the TURCP.

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