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Pakistan: Pearl Continental Hotel Workers' Campaign Builds Wider Support Amongst Democracy Parties

“All Parties Conference” organised by the Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel Workers Solidarity Committee, Karachi, 15 March 2007.
Report from IUF Pakistan Office    

Ghulam Mehboob, General Secretary of the PC Hotel Workers Union.
At a time when Pakistan is facing widespread protests against the Presidential decision to suspend the Supreme Court chief, the struggling Pearl Continental Hotel Workers Union has drawn support from twenty democratic political parties, including those of the main political opposition. This support was assured through a resolution in an “All Parties Conference” which was organised by PC Hotel Workers Solidarity Committee on Friday the 15 March 2007.

The conference resolution stated that:

• workers at Pearl Continental Hotel Karachi were dismissed illegally and with malafide intention. The Conference notes that the purpose of dismissing workers was to crush the union. The Conference demands the reinstatement of the dismissed workers immediately with all back benefits;

• despite the Pearl Continental Hotel Workers Union Karachi being recognised by the Labour Authorities and Superior Courts as the Collective Bargaining Agent, the hotel management has refused to recognise the union. The Conference demands hotel management recognise the workers’ union and start negotiations on the charter of demands presented by the union in 2001;

• International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendations were made following a complaint lodged by the IUF, the conference demands the full implementation of these ILO recommendations;

• the All-Parties Conference appreciates the struggle of PC Hotel Workers in Karachi and extends its full support.

Earlier Mirza Maqsood, Convener of the PC Hotel Workers Solidarity Committee welcomed the representatives of the political parties. Qamar ul Hassan of the IUF Pakistan Outreach Office gave a report on the continuous six year campaign by the union union. Ghulam Mehboob, General Secretary of the union explained the situation which union has faced in the last five years.

The political party representatives, including a former senator and a member Provincial Assembly, termed the struggle of the PC Hotel Workers a mile stone in the history of labour movement in Pakistan. They said that political parties should prepare and submit a resolution in Sindh Provincial Assembly. They also decided that all political parties will participate in the torch light procession on 30 April this year, which will be organized by PC Hotel Workers Union to mark May Day.

The political Parties which attended the APC included the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League (N), National Workers Party, Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA), Awami National Party, Communist Mazdoor Kisan Party, Pakistan Peoples Party (SB), PKMAP, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Inqalabi Jamhori Workers Party, Pakistan Awami Tehrik, Communist Party of Pakistan, PMKP, Tehreek Istaqlal, Labour Party of Pakistan and Sunni Tehreek.

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[2007.03.21]