Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated the President of PIA’s Peoples Unity, Mr. Hidayatullah, and Mr. Mohammad Ashraf, the General Secretary of the Union, both belonging to the Peoples Unity group on their election and called upon them to dedicate themselves for the development of a contended workforce as a guarantee to lift the PIA from its current position.
Both Hidayatullah and Muhammad Ashraf belonging to the Peoples Unity group were voted to their offices by the workers in the recently held referendum for the PIA Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA).
In his message of felicitations the President said that their victory was a manifestation of workers confidence in their abilities and leadership to address their concerns and issues.
The President expressed the hope that they would devote themselves to the welfare of the organization and resolving the problems of the PIA workers.
The President said that Pakistan People’s Party draws its strength from of the labour and working classes. He said that from Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, the Party has always been in the forefront of struggle for safeguarding the rights of the working classes.
The President also recounted various measures taken by the present government for the welfare of the workers, the wage earners and the dispossessed. He said that under the Benazir Stock Option Scheme workers had been made shareholders, for the first time, in state run enterprises. A special program called the Benazir Income Support Program had been launched to empower and lift the poorest of the poor from despondency and despair, he said.
The President said that in line with the Government’s commitment towards the welfare of workers, the Parliament passed two important bills to protect the workers from exploitation and arbitrary termination from service. And only last week I gave assent to the Industrial Relations Act 2012 to protect the rights of workers against arbitrariness, he said.
Following in the footsteps of its leaders, the President said, the government will continue to fight for the rights of our working classes.
He called upon the President Mr. Hidayatullah and General Secretary Muhammad Ashraf of the Union to work towards protecting the rights of the PIA workers, improving their welfare and working environment and redressing their genuine concerns and problems. He said that federal Minister Syed Khursheed Shah had been specially tasked to look after the workers’ interests and advised them to keep liaison with the Minister for the welfare of workers.
The President said that the PIA was a national asset and a contended and satisfied work force was a guarantee of the success of this national airline. He said that the offices to which they were elected also placed on their shoulders great responsibilities and expressed the hope that they would successfully discharge their duties towards the workers and the organization.
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