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Emergency resolution condemns union-busting shipping corporation in Pakistan

1 June 2006

The “blatant anti-union practices” of a shipping corporation in Pakistan were slammed by the ITF and seafarers’ and dockers’ representatives during a meeting in Hong Kong last week.

The steering group of the Fair Practices Committee, an ITF body comprising seafarers’ and dockers’ union representatives worldwide, condemned the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) in an emergency resolution passed at a meeting on 25-26 May. 

The company has reportedly not only consistently refused to negotiate with the nationally registered and recognised ITF affiliate the All Pakistan Seamen’s Workers’ Union, but also secured injunctions against the union preventing its representatives from gaining access to seafarers on board the company’s ships. 

PNSC’s latest move has been to suspend six key union leaders on misconduct and indiscipline charges for three years, barring them from working on board ships in Pakistan. The suspended seafarers claim they are being punished for questioning the legality of the appointment of Captain Nasim Ahmed Tariq in court - he is both a PNSC employee and in charge of government policy on shipping.

Affiliates are being urged to support the union and the worldwide campaign against PNSC as well as to make appropriate representations to the Pakistani government.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: “This is a clear breach of freedom of association and a serious attack on the trade union movement. It is deeply disturbing that this should be done by a state shipping company and a maritime government department so soon after the adoption of the International Labour Organization's Maritime Convention. We hope, even at this late stage, that the government of Pakistan will intervene in order to ensure that human and trade union rights are respected and upheld in the maritime sector in Pakistan.”

In early May, David Cockroft wrote to the company, calling for it to desist from anti-union practices, and to the government, demanding intervention.




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