PALPA suspends strike against PIA for two days

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA) on Wednesday announced to suspend its strike against PIA for two days.

The decision was announced during a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation in Islamabad. “We are calling off the strike on the guarantee of the chairman and members of the standing committee,” said PALPA president Amir Hashmi. During the session, the committee chairman ruled that all stakeholders, including officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), meet in two days’ time to resolve the crisis. The chairman ordered that a report on resolution of the dispute be presented in the committee in its next session on Friday.

PALPA President Captain Amir Hashmi, in an announcement, said the protest has been brought to a halt for a two-day period in the larger interest of the organisation and the associated stakeholders. He strongly dispelled the impression that flight operation schedule of the national carrier was in any manner affected due to the pilots of PIA. He said it was high time that concerns and grievances of PALPA were extended due heed as these were in the larger interest of the national career itself.

The row started after the CAA suspended licences of two pilots for a period of one and two years, respectively, for “unlawfully operating flights without permission”. PIA claimed that the pilots’ association was blackmailing the management to agree to unjust promotions and unjustified benefits for executives. PALPA, on the other hand, denied that they were exercising a “go slow” strategy or observing a strike, but maintained they were just not taking extra work and this was why the flights were cancelled.

Adhering to the Senate Standing Committee’s requested to end the strike on an immediate basis, PALPA asked the committee to help resolve the ongoing crisis. During the standing committee’s cabinet secretariat meeting with PALPA leaders and PIA management, both sides expressed their reservations and put forward their demands which were discussed at length.

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