We have received the following two reports on further anti-Trade Union repression in Pakistan. The regime is adamant on removing militant trade union leaders who are daring to challenge their plans to carry out privatisations and mass sackings.
These comrades need your help. Please take up this issue urgently inside your trade union branch. Get messages of protest sent. And raise the funds needed to keep this campaign going! Below you will find an update on the situation in the Pakistan Postal Sector and a short report on more anti-trade union measures being taken by the regime against the Karachi steel workers. These reports were sent to us from the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign in Pakistan. (August 24, 2001)
PAKISTAN POSTAL WORKERS' STRUGGLE CONTINUES
The postal workers' struggle in Pakistan continues in very difficult conditions. The Postal authorities are desperately trying to sack three main militant leaders. They already have issued charge sheets to the leaders listed below. They are on the verge of being sacked for the crime of upholding the rights of the postal workers and defying the regime's ban on unionisation of the postal workers.
NAZAR MENGAL - President, NOPE (National Organisation of Postal
JAVED NASIR - Secretary Khuzdar G.P.O. (General Post Office)
SAIFULLAH SASOOLI - Provincial Assistant Secretary NOPE.
The authorities have accused these workers of the following
1 Misbehaved with the senior postmaster in his chamber.
2 Disconnection of the telephone of the senior postmaster.
3 Use of unparliamentary language.
4 Threatening the senior postmaster.
5 Locking up to the senior postmaster and harassing him.
6 Occupation the seat of the senior postmaster.
All these allegations have been fabricated against these trade union leaders. All these allegations are baseless. The main objective of issuing the charge sheet is to threaten the leaders and to force them to accept the conditions imposed by the authorities.
When these leaders went to meet the senior postmaster of the GPO in Khuzdar, he called the police and ordered them to arrest these TU leaders. But under the pressure of the workers, the police refuse to arrest them. Now the police is harassing these leaders. They are trying their best to arrest them under any false charges. The senior authorities are threatening them.
The authorities are using this case as a challenge and a test case. That's why they are using their full state powers and authority to teach these fighting leaders a lesson.
Under Nazar Mohammed Mengal's leadership this has been the first real resistance and challenge to their dictatorial clampdown on Trade Union activities in the Postal Sector in Pakistan. Now the authorities want to use them to give a lesson to the other workers and TU activists.
This is also a test for us. If we are able to win this battle then there will be a whole series of rebellions from other workers. This victory would give 36,000 postal workers a new confidence, courage and fighting sprit.
The PTUDC is approaching vast layer of postal workers in other parts of Pakistan and is trying its best to mobilize the union leadership. We are also spreading this campaign to other sections of the labour movement, the PTCL, Railways, Banking sector and other important industries.
We are preparing for a national convention of postal workers, but because of limited resources we are facing many problems and hardships. International support and solidarity is very vital and important to win this ongoing battle.
Negotiations are going on at the present moment and in spite of all the threats and repression of the military regime these postal workers are putting up enormous resistance and have shown courage at a moment when most of the Trade Union leaders have succumbed to the pressures and capitulated to the regime and its policies. They have nobody on their side except their brothers - the workers around the world. They are struggling in conditions of extreme poverty and in adverse circumstances. They have expressed their gratitude to the workers from Britain, Belgium and from other countries who have sent messages of support and protest messages to the Military Dictatorship against the repression.
This is not a trivial dispute, its outcome will decide the fate of the struggle against privatisation and other IMF dictates on a much wider scale, affecting not just the postal workers but a whole range of industries.
Comrade Nazar Mengal has appealed to all the Trade Unionists, especially in the postal sector in Britain, Europe and elsewhere to continue the support and expand it further. His message is: AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.
These trade unionists have vowed to carry on the fight to the finish, come what may. But they can only win with the solidarity, support and resources provided by the workers in the same cause.
PAKISTAN STEEL MILLS KARACHI
TRADE UNION ACTIVISTS UNDER STATE ATTACK FOR CARRYING OUT PTUDC ACTIVITY.
The military regime in Pakistan has started a new vicious campaign to sack more than 1800 workers from the Steel Mills in Karachi.
The regime had already sacked 7500 workers from the Steel Mills over the last two years. This is a direct result of the betrayal on the part of the main trade union leadership. Their was a big movement in the Steel Mills two years ago. The PTUDC played a very important role in this movement. We organised press conferences, rallies and printed leaflets to prop up the resistance against the state attacks. This movement forced the regime to withdraw all anti workers policies. Then the leadership made a compromise with the regime and paved the way for the retrenchment and sacking of 7500 workers.
Now the regime has started this new attack. They have issued charge sheets to 17 office bearers of the peoples' workers' union, the CBA. Faqir Mohammed Hamayati, Vice President of the union, has also received a charge sheet. Faqir Mohammed Hamayati is member of the Karachi committee of the PTUDC. He is a militant and honest veteran trade unionist with a long history of struggle. He played an important part in the 1968-69 revolution when the workers had power virtually in their hands. The PTUDC work has enormously influenced this union. The authorities have alleged that he was responsible for producing, writing and distributing a leaflet on June 1st, 2001. He has been issued a charge sheet dated 17-7-2001 which states the following:
1) That you, in the capacity of an office bearer of the People's
Workers Union were involved in distributing a highly defamatory
material in the morning of 01-06-2000 at Quaidabad Chowk in the shape
of a pamphlet and leaflet which was widely circulated amongst the
employees of Pakistan Steel.
2) This is a violation of Civil Servants Rule 1973 and Special Power Ordinance (removed from service ordinance 2000) and punishment under this rule is removal from service. Explain your position within 7 days otherwise action will be taken against you.
This really shows the nature of the allegation and is clearly a case of victimisation of Trade Union activities. The PTUDC has launched a campaign to defend comrade Faqir on a national and international level.
Comrade Faqir's livelihood is at stake, his only crime being the defence of the rights of the workers and fighting back against the attacks of the state. He needs urgent support and solidarity.
Please send your protest messages to:
Chairman Steel Mills,
Karachi Steel town,
and also to:
Ministry of Industry and Commerce,
Faqir Mohammed Hamyati's address is:
Juma Hamayti village,
Send protest resolutions to:
- Chief Executive, General Musharraf, of Pakistan:
firstname.lastname@example.org (This e-mail address
can be used to send protests directly by e-mail to the government of
- The Ministry of Communications, Islamabad, Pakistan.
- The Post Master General, Quetta, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
- Pakistan Embassy in your country.
Send messages of support and solidarity to:
Provincial President, NOPE, Baluchistan,
General Post Office [G.P.O.],
(Phone: + 92 871 413393)
Send Copies to,
105, Mangal Mansion, Royal Park,
(phone/fax: + 92 42 6316214.)
Donations to the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign can be made
Payments can also be made by cheque, payable to the
Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign,
PO Box 6977,
London, N1 3JN,
From outside Britain (if you do not have a credit card) payments
can be made to:
Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign,
directly to their bank account at the Abbey National Plc., 21 Prescott Street, London, E1 8AD, England
Reference Number: K3414742PAK
Account Number: 0000 0000 (that is four zeros)
Sort code: 09 00 20
Using whichever Swift Code your local bank uses.