PTCL Strike reaches resolution, sale to continue

An estimated 500 workers were detained while 29 were fired for threatening property damage. Union leader Shahid Ayub claimed some 200,000 phonelines were disrupted in southwestern and eastern Punjab province. Another fire in Lahore and a bomb in Balochistan to topple over a tower were amongst the attacks. Police claimed to have detained about 60 people in Lahore. Sabir Butt from the PTCL Employees Action Committee accused police of intimidating and harassing workers and their families.

Leghari claims the situation is under control during the launching ceremony of National IT Development and Promotion Unit (NIDU). Quite a shame that the launch of the IT development centre was overshadowed by issues surrounding PTCL. No details on the development centres in the news either. Anyways, Leghari stated, security was neccessitated at only 130 of the 3500 PTCL installations. Further, the strike was declared illegal by NIRC.

Yahoo provides some details:

Ali Qadir Gilani, a senior PTCL official, told Dow Jones Newswires that management and the leaders of PTCL Telecom Employees Union - the largest of the nine unions forming PTCL Action Committee - have reached a settlement to end a strike against a company stock sell-off set for Saturday.

PTCL management agreed to enhance workers’ pay by 35% instead of the previously announced 30% as well as increase other benefits for employees, such as education grants, Gilani said.

Shahid Ishaq Butt, a leader of the union, said the strike is being called off and the union won’t oppose privatization.

“We are now asking all employees to attend office in the larger interest of the country,” he said.

“We have accepted PTCL privatization because over 60% share would still be with the government even after divesting 26% stake,” Butt said.

Not the most ideal climate for privatizating and selling to foreign investors, a 26% chunk of the nations largest Telecom company which has a market cap of well over Rs.250 billion (about $US450 million) and comprises 15% of the weighted-average index of 100 shares. The stock is still holding out and the bid is still scheduled for the revised date of Jun 18 bringing to a hasty end, the 10-day standoff between 55,000 employees and 9 unions. The bidders are requested to deposit the money by Thursday (Rs40 million deposit).

Interesting turn of events. Is this the climate under which you would want to sell off a major stake in large company? Was all this trouble for a 5% increase in pay or is Shadhi Ishaq Butt (and the other 8 union leaders) a wealthier man? Or was this all military coercion?

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One Response to “PTCL Strike reaches resolution, sale to continue”

  1. halai says:

    Here come the stakeholders…The BBC Reports Singapore’s SingTel, the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat and China Mobile will bid for the 26% stake on Saturday. Telekom Malaysia, Turkcell and Saudi Telecommunications had previously expressed interest in buying the stake but have since dropped out of the running.