PTCL Strike Still Hot and Active, Management Empties its Silo; Serves Public Termination Notice!

Ongoing PTCL strike has stretched around or over a month now is still on the rise, despite various resolution claims by PTCL management.

Earlier PTCL had claimed that strike is over. In a press release issued to media, PTCL had said that all employees are back to work while company is making arrangements to issue salaries and bonuses to employees before Eid.

However, in today’s Daily Jang, PTCL served a public notice to those employees who are still on strike and are planning not to resume their work till September 15th, 2010 will be considered terminated.

PTCL’s this notice clearly contradicts its own (one week old) press release, while it depicts the ground reality that company workers are still not contented with management’s deeds.

Moreover, above notice also serves as a confession by PTCL that it is bearing tons of loss while law enforcement agencies are unable to safe-guard its premises and fiber-optic network.

Following are other highlights of PTCL Strike:

  • August 16th: PTCL employees went on strike when management decided to raise salaries by 50 percent of basic salaries in 2008 instead of current basics, as announced by the Government of Pakistan.
  • PTCL employees locked down PTCL’s network country wide, with no operations at all.
  • 1218, 1217, other support departments, linemen, exchanges, corporate offices went down.
  • PTCL’s whole network was running at its own, with no maintenance at all,
  • August 18th: PTCL, through a circular, said that bonuses and salaries will not be given strike observing employees.
  • August 20th: LHC and RHC ordered law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of PTCL offices.
  • August 30th: PTCL management decided to settle the issue through negotiations, which got failed;
  • August 30th, PTCL employees threw sit-in call if their demands were not met
  • September First Week: Police charged hard on protesting employees, injuring several workers while arresting other dozen employees.
  • September 7th: PTCL issued a press release claiming that workers have resumed their work, while company will pay salaries and bonuses before Eid.

Current Situation:

  • Salaries and Bonuses were transferred to employees accounts before Eid, however, at least 5,000 employees in far-flung areas were not paid due to infrastructure delay from National bank of Pakistan.
  • Strike has softened in Faisalabad and Islamabad Region to some extent,
  • Lahore, Multan is retaliating hard, Larkana, Sukkur, Nawabshah is locked down
  • Baluchistan is completely locked down (Source: Muhammad Owais, Engineering Supervisor, PTCL Sibbi)
  • Employees who have resumed their work were able to resolve 15 percent of complaints (source: Wasim Shah, PTCL Employee, Islamabad)

What Next?

  • Thanks to media’s silence, PTCL management is able to linger on the issue, without any resolution.
  • Workers’ demands now include the release of their union leaders, withdrawal of show cause notices, terminations and dismissals along with their core demand of salary increase.
  • PTCL management, which is reportedly backed by the Government of Pakistan, is in no mood of negotiating with employees.
  • Customers and businesses are suffering by large
  • Historically, (for instance Verizon’s strike of 50,000 employees in year 2000) strikes are never fought with hard stands, one day management will have to satisfy its workforce by meeting their demands to save its existence.
  • PTCL human resource division has to be preemptive and supporting in order to address these collective bargaining issues before they go public.
  • PTCL also needs to settle down its differences with Government of Pakistan, so that both the parties are on the same page before budgeting or salaries increase.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK