Pakistan: Sindh teachers win legal battle against ban on union

Court reinstates sacked teachers’ union leaders

Last December, the Sindh High Court declared the ban on teachers’ unions illegal, and against the constitution, and restored the trade union rights of 1,50,000 teachers in the Sindh province. The court also re-instated more than 150 sacked leaders and activists from teachers’ unions. The court issued instructions to the government to stop victimization of the activists.

This is an important victory for the working class against the anti-worker and anti-trade union campaign launched by the present regime. The provincial government imposed the ban on teachers’ unions and started to sack all the leading activists of teachers’ unions. The teachers started strike and protest demonstrations against this ban, which the provincial government tried to suppress with brutal force.

New confidence

This victory will give new confidence and courage to the workers in their fight against the anti-workers policies of the government. This decision is also a blow to the vicious anti-workers policies of the government to further weaken the working class movement. The teachers’ unions must start to reorganise, on democratic basis. This victory has once again proved the importance of struggle on all fronts. The working class cannot solely rely on the law courts, as these are also part of the capitalist state, which protects the interests of the ruling classes. The working class can use the courts as a part of struggle and also to further expose the rotten system which suppresses the working masses to protect the class interests of the ruling class. The court intervened on the teachers’ issue because the teachers were also fighting in the streets and workplaces.

The TURCP welcomes this victory and will continue to take an active part in the struggle of teachers unions for their rights. TURCP members played an active role in the struggle of the teachers against the ban of unions. TURCP produced a leaflet in support of the struggle and also organised a solidarity campaign against the ban in the wider workers’ movement.

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January 2007