PIA vs PALPA: Sindh High Court gives the verdict

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday dismissed the appeal of Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) against the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management’s decision to revoke parts of the contract between the two bodies.

According to the details, the Sindh High Court has dismissed PALPA’s application for seeking suspension of the impugned notification by the PIA management. However, the application by the PIA management has been allowed by the SHC to stay the proceedings of this suit and refer the matter for arbitration under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act, 1940.

According to PALPA, forming an association on behalf of the pilots is a constitutional right which cannot be curtailed by the national airline in the manner as reflected in the impugned notice. However, the SHC has clearly rejected by saying that ‘the Plaintiffs (PALPA) have failed to make out a case for indulgence so as to exercise any discretion in their favor. In fact, even if this Court would have been inclined to exercise jurisdiction under section 41 of the Arbitration Act as prayed on behalf of the Plaintiffs (PALPA), the ingredients for grant of an injunction are lacking in this case. The plaintiffs have no prima facie case nor balance of convenience lies in their favor, whereas, irreparable loss, if any, would be caused to PIA if the impugned notice of termination is suspended.’

PIA cancels working agreements with PALPA and other associations

It is to be remembered that PIA canceled all working agreements with associations and the management announced not to entertain any representation from any such union, society or association.

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According to the notification issued on April 30, 2020, the illegal status of bargaining with the management of Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA), SSA, SAEP, ATAP and PACCA was removed. Under section 19 of the Industrial Relations Act, 2012, only Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) was certified and allowed to function in a constitutional capacity.

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However, PALPA secretively challenged the PIA management’s decision to revoke parts of the contract between the two bodies in the court of law. The pilots’ association challenged the management’s orders which the pilots felt were “unilateral and one sided,” and defied the safety procedures that can be affected by this decision.

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