Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published Friday, February 11, 2011 at 3:35 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Pakistani airline employees end 4-day strike

Employees of Pakistan's state airline ended a four-day strike Friday that had crippled air travel in the country after the company's director resigned and a route-sharing deal with another airline was scrapped.

Associated Press

KARACHI, Pakistan —

Employees of Pakistan's state airline ended a four-day strike Friday that had crippled air travel in the country after the company's director resigned and a route-sharing deal with another airline was scrapped.

The managing director of Pakistan International Airlines, Mohammad Aijaz Haroon, resigned late Friday, said Faisal Raza Abdi, an aide to Pakistan's president.

The announcement of Haroon's departure was met with cheers by strikers outside the airport in Karachi, where just a few hours earlier police had charged at striking employees with batons, beating some of them bloody.

Sohail Baloch, the head of the employees union, said they were calling off the strike as a result.

"Our prime demand has been met. We hope flight operations will resume after midnight," Baloch said. "We apologize that passengers had to face troubles."

The strike started Tuesday when pilots and support staff walked off the job to protest a proposal to have the struggling carrier share routes with Turkish Airlines. The Pakistani airline's managers said the route-sharing idea would reduce financial losses, but strikers said it would lead to job and pay cuts.

The route-sharing deal is no longer on the table, company spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said.

"There was no agreement with Turkish Airlines and no such agreement will be signed in the future," Tajwar said. In addition, eight pilots who had been fired over the strike have been reinstated, he said.

The airline expects to resume normal operations by the morning, he said.

The airline is Pakistan's largest carrier and the main operator of domestic flights. At least 250 domestic and international flights were canceled since the beginning of the strike, which cost roughly 500 million Pakistani rupees ($6 million) a day, company spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said.

It also dealt another blow to Pakistan's struggling economy, kept afloat by large loans from the International Monetary Fund. Perishable cargo, such as flowers and fruit, were left to spoil.

Pakistan's ruling party is trying to shore up the country's economy, which is wracked by inflation, chronic power shortages and other problems, but it has met resistance from allies and the opposition on pursuing major reforms, including a new sales tax. Subsidizing the airline and other loss-making state-run businesses eats up a significant chunk of the government budget each year.

---

Vogt reported from Islamabad.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook

More Business & Technology headlines...

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Advertising