ITF general secretary Steve Cotton explained: “PIA workers are committed to fighting the planned privatisation of the national airline. On Monday the government prohibited strike action for the next six months, on questionable legal grounds, a day ahead of a planned strike and demonstration at the airport.
“When the aviation workers’ demonstration went ahead the police and paramilitary Karachi Rangers tried to break it up with baton charges, water cannon and tear gas, and then fired at the unarmed demonstrators – even though they subsequently denied this.”
He concluded: “The shooting of unarmed protestors is indefensible. Alongside the deaths and woundings, four union leaders are also reported missing. The government has also reportedly stopped the salaries of the protesting workers, with the prime minister threatening the protesting employees with dismissal and jail.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “The perpetrators must be brought to account and there must be no cover-up of the government’s role in this violent repression.”