Following a long
period, the threat of official cancellation of the registration of the
Pearl Continental Hotel Union has finally been removed.
In 2001 the hotel
management at Karachi's luxury Pearl Continental Hotel decided to crush
the union. Aside from dismissing union officers and active union members,
the management and owners sought to crush the union through the courts
by attempting to cancel the registration of the union.
In 2002 hotel management
filed a complaint with the labour directorate accusing the union of
acts of in-discipline, go-slow and coming to work late. The management
requested the cancellation of the union's registration. Under the law
the registrar has to go to the labour court to get permission for the
cancellation of the registration.
In this case the
registrar, without holding any enquiry, without issuing any show cause
notice to the union and without fulfilling the legal requirements, filed
a case in the labour court seeking permission for the cancellation of
the union's registration. Although the matter should have been between
the union and the registrar, Pearl Continental hotel management applied
to be co-complainants. The labour court accepted the management's application,
thus nullifying any pretense that the labour registrar would act with
independence. The union challenged the labour court's decision permitting
management to be a co-complainant in Sindh High Court. Later the labour
court declined the application of registrar seeking the permission to
cancel the registration of the union.
The hotel management
as co-complainant challenged the labour court's decision in the high
court. The Sindh High Court heard the two applications jointly and set
aside both orders. The Sindh High Court remanded the case to the labour
court with the direction to proceed with the case afresh from the stage
of filing of the complaint and also held that the complaint shall be
treated between the registrar and the union.
The labour court
again started the proceedings and the name of the hotel management was
removed from the title of the complainant. The union again approached
the labour director to withdraw the petition. After a long negotiation
with the union the Labour Director wrote a letter to the labour court
withdrawing the charges against the union. The labour director asked
the assistant director to submit this letter to the court the following
day. The next day when union reached the court, they found other labour
director officers at the court who refused to submit the letter of the
Instead these officers
requested the court to adjourn the case. The union made an objection
that the Labour Director had written an application to withdraw the
case but his subordinates did not submit the application. The Labour
Court adjourned the case. Later the joint director told the union that
the Minister of Labour directed him not to submit the application in
The union started
a campaign criticizing the labour department and the labour minister.
This created tremendous pressure and the representative of labour directorate
gradually stopped appearing before the court. The labour court gave
many chances to Labour Director to appear before the court but he did
not. The labour court on 18th May 2006 disposed off the application
of registrar of trade unions seeking to cancel the registration of the
union. In the judgment it is written:
person making complaint has not come before this court to establish
the allegation in support of the complaint despite given many chances
by this court. It also shows that he has no interest therein. The record
shows that no enquiry was made by the complainant before filing of the
present complaint and the complaint is based on the bare allegation
of the employer who has no locus standi in view of the above order of
the Honorable High Court of Sindh."
view of the above facts and circumstances it is clear that the complainant
has failed to prove his allegation therefore, the accused is entitled
to acquitted U/S 249-A, Cr. P.C (Criminal Panel Code)"