The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a stay order against Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) decision to reduce the salaries and perks of its pilots.
The Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) has challenged the PIA’s directives in this regard and is seeking the court’s ruling to overturn the decision.
During the first hearing of the case on Saturday, the SHC issued an interim order that bars the national airline from taking an adverse decision against the pilots.
The order has directed PIA’s management to stay within the ambit of the Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited (PIACL) Conversion Act 2016, which states:
The salaries, emoluments and all other terms of service of employees, whether permanent or contractual, shall not be changed to their disadvantage.
Commenting on the development, PALPA President, Captain Salman Riaz, said that the PIA’s Human Resources Officer had illegally reduced the pilots’ pays and sanctioned off days.
Last month, PIA’s Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) had announced a 25 percent reduction in pilots’ salaries, and guaranteed flying hours, among other benefits. The decision that was made effective from 1 October had been taken in the aforementioned board meeting.
The board had decided to rationalize remunerations to employees in terms of qualification, trade, and assignment-related allowances.
Captain Riaz added that PIA had introduced new punitive actions for safety violations that go against the spirit of the established good practices of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA), and termed it ‘an attempt to introduce vague, unsafe, and detrimental conditions of service’.
He also declared that PIA’s 48th board meeting on 5 August, in which these decisions had been made, was illegal.
“The tenure of PIACL board expired on 6 June. The federal government later extended the tenure of the PIACL Board from 7 June to 6 August,” he explained.