ITF Calls for Reinstatement of Sacked Union Leaders in Pakistan
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has condemned the recent sackings of eight union leaders by Hutchison Ports Pakistan and called on management at South Asia Pakistan Terminals (SAPT) to immediately reinstate the “Karachi 8.”
ITF president and Dockers’ Section chair Paddy Crumlin says the move is an attempt to undermine workers’ fundamental rights to representation and to collectively bargain. The ITF says the dismissal of the Karachi 8 follows previous attempts by Hutchison Ports Pakistan to challenge the union SAPTDWU’s official certification as the Certified Bargaining Agent for SAPT on April 30, 2018.
“In the past year we’ve seen Hutchison challenge the legitimacy of SAPTDWU in the court – and fail, register another union in Islamabad, sack leaders for tabling collective demands and file trumped up charges of sabotage against union leaders that resulted in the incarceration of two leaders for nine days in the absence of any evidence submitted to court,” alleges Crumlin.
The ITF has written to Hutchison Ports Pakistan requesting the reinstatement of the sacked workers as a matter of urgency and for the company to restore respect for trade union rights at the terminal. This follows thousands of trade unionists petitioning for their immediate reinstatement.
“Far from breaking the strength of the workforce in Karachi, this attack has emboldened them,” said Crumlin. “We urge Hutchison to reinstate the Karachi 8 and allow genuine freedom of association for these officials to operate in the interests of their members.”