Employees’ union of Pakistan Airlines protest against privatisation

Islamabad [Pakistan], February 22 (ANI): In a bold display of dissent, the employees’ union of Pakistan International Airlines’ staged a protest to voice their firm opposition against the privatisation and outsourcing of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), according to the ARY News.

According to ARY News’ report on Wednesday, members of the People’s Unity of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which is commonly known as the CBA, under the leadership of President Hidayatullah Khan, took to the streets raising slogans and banners with messages of defiance against what they perceived as a calculated attempt to dismantle a cherished national treasure.

According to the Pakistan media outlet, Hidayatullah Khan emphasised the persistent endeavour to undervalue and sell off PIA, highlighting concerns regarding the proposed outsourcing of the Islamabad flight kitchen.

Khan pointed out that the current operational cost of the flight kitchen amounts to Rs 600 million, while the management aims to outsource it for Rs 1.80 billion, a move vehemently opposed by the union.

Addressing the employees, the union’s president Hidayatullah emphasized that awarding contracts at higher prices raises suspicions of corruption and declared their commitment to risking their lives to save the airlines, according to Saama News.

The union’s General Secretary, Rana Mohammad Kashif, has filed a petition challenging the contracts, alleging inflated costs and potential corruption, Saama News reported.

Rana Kashif believes that the cost of PIA’s flight kitchen is Rs 1.4 billion, while the contract for the same work is being given to a firm called Kitchen Cuisine for Rs 1.680 billion. The federal government, PIA and two private companies and Kitchen Cuisine have been made parties in the petition, Saama News said.

Accusations were levied against influential figures within PIA, with specific mention of Fawad Hasan Fawad and PIA’s CEO officials, whom Khan accused of spearheading the privatisation and outsourcing agenda.