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Board of directors lacks labour representation.

Economic Review: How will you comment on Labour-Management relations in Pakistan Railway?

Manzoor Ahmed Razi: There is no liaison between the management and the workers. Quite recently a department has been established to manage industrial relations. In fact management undermines union and workers and bureaucracy controls the whole show. The total workforce of Pakistan Railways is about 1.5 million. But the representatives of workers are not taken into confidence in running the affairs. It is necessary to create a working understanding between the management and the workers to bring the railway out of deficit and as well as to maintain industrial peace.

ER: Why the Labour Policy is not being announced. Do you have any suggestions for the balanced Labour Policy?

MAR: The Labour Policy is being delayed because of industrialists who have the blessings of the government. They want to incorporate hire and fire right and other terms suiting their interests. The new Labour Policy should contain the solution of workers' grievances. Representatives of the workers should be nominated to the Board of Directors. The Labour Policy should guarantee job security, health facilities, education and accommodation for the workers. Unemployed persons should get allowance. Workers' seats in senate, National and provincial assemblies should be reserved. Workers should have the right to strike as envisaged in ILO Conventions.

ER: is there any news about Privatisation of Pakistan Railways?

MAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denied reports about privatisation. Earlier, bids were invited for Lahore-Faisalabad Section but later on it was dropped. Instead of handing over railway to private sector measures should be taken to improve the working of Pakistan Railway so as to make it a profit-earning department. Commission system in railway should be abolished. Setting-up double-track and introduction of hourly railway services could easily turn the organisation into a profitable unit. Moreover, there are too many leakages at the highest level. If these are stopped immediately the organisation could come out of the present financial crisis.

ER: is there any outside political influence in labour unions?

MAR: The outside influence is tremendous. Important portfolios in the labour unions are held by prominent political leaders. In some cases MPAs are the office-bearers. There should be no direct outside political influence in unions or other railway affairs.

ER: What are the problems of workers. What solution do you suggest?

MAR: There is no channel of promotion in Pakistan Railways. 50 per cent vacancies in officer grade should be fulfilled through lower grade departmental candidates. Wages should be enhanced according to inflation. In case of death of an employee during service his family should be compensated. Referendum in Pakistan Railways should immediately be conducted.
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Title Annotation:Industrial Relations in Pakistan '92; Pakistan Railway; interview with Manzoor Ahmed Razi
Author:Raza, Moosi
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:So-called schemes of workers' welfare.
Next Article:Industrial relations in Johnson & Phllips (Pak) Ltd.

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