150 Workers Occupy Karachi PC Hotelposted by Khawer Khan | March 3, 2010 | In Original Articles
The following first appeared as on Riaz Ahmed‘s Facebook.
Strike: 150 Workers Occupy Karachi PC Hotel
Over 150 workers of -star Karachi hotel Pearl Continental have occupied the basement for the last 8 days. About 50 workers have set up a camp outside the hotel. Armed guards of PC hotel have stopped media and other activists from going into the basement of the hotel. However they can be contacted by mobile. In a rapidly developing strike which started from after the sacking of 4 union activists in Karachi PC, 27 from Pindi PC and 70 from Peshawar (already closed and about to be given to Blackwater). The sacked workers first started protests 24 days ago when they protested at constitution avenue. The managment started negotiations but then backed out and thus the second phase of protests have begun in Rawalpindi PC and Peshawar PC as well.
The strike at PC is the first of such intensity after a long time. Workers have risen up to the bosses and have taken measures which are not common in Pakistani trade union struggle ie occupation. However the bosses of Pearl Continental are billionaire Hashwani group and they managed to blackout news from print and electronic media. Almost all major papers are situated at a 1 km distance from PC Karachi but none of them have reported the occupation by workers.
Two comrades of IS, Asim and Shafiq went to the Karachi PC camp and managed to talk to the occupiers on phone. They report that the occupiers are in high spirits but certainly need a large number of people to express solidarity. Outside the Karachi PC the police attacked the camp on tuesday and arrested the protesters but later released them. The attack has not deterred the protestors neither those occupying inside our those outside. Now the protesters are sitting in the open.
The strikers have asked everyone to assemble at the PC hotel at 12noon on Thursday 4 March 2010 to express solidarity.
PC workers have been fighting sackings since 2001. But the current struggle errupted in an atomosphere where the Pakistani ruling class is on an offensive. Throughout the country they have attacked occupying peasants, protesting clerks and other working class protests. However the occupiers and protesters have not taken the attack laying down. The occuption by PC workers is therefore critical to the struggle of a huge number of working class struggles, that is why the ruling class and its media are united and blocking its spread using all means of violence available to them.
It is important that the news of OCCUPATION is spread as far as possible. We can learn from the expreience of PC workers that the media is ‘free’ to report that which is in the interest of a section of the powerful, otherwise not. So it is up to the working class to mobilize support, propagate and express solidarity with its own means.
Riaz Ahmed International Socialists Karachi0333-2298922www.worldtowinpk.net
Subject: PC Hotel Karachi administration subjects it s workers to medieval time’s cruelty and injustice.
For the last 14 years PC Hotel administration has not increased the pay and allowances of its workers just fully and have not confirmed the dally wages for years they are resorting to cruel methods’ of treatment by expelling the laborers/ workers out of the hotel whenever they demand to be confirmed or asked for increase in their wages they are been subjected to extreme injustice by employing them through fake third party companies and even after years of service in the PC Hotel they are not considered as PC employs for labor union has gone to the courts and won the case but inspite of that no practical steps have been taken by the PC administration infect PC administration has blatantly disregarded rather abuse the decision of the courts.
There is no one to listen to the woes and legal and genuine complaints of the workers. This is happening so because PC administration by bribing the government officials has neutralized any pressure for the government as well. Workers are crying and there is no one to listen to their cries. Please not only help us but also make our voice reach the world that in 21 century the Pakistani workers of PC Hotel Karachi are being forced to live in cruel medieval time of the past.