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Pragmatic approach needed for betterment.

Economic Review: What is the state of Labour-Management relations after denationalisation ?

Usman Ghani: Relations are normal and good till date. This is because the Banks' President, who being an old Banker realizes the difficulties of the employees in true perspective. So long the President along with rationale policies continues the relations are expected to be good.

ER. Was there any reduction of staff after Privatisation ?

UG: At the time of privatisation job security was guaranteed for one year. The year has just been completed but no employee has been sacked. But it is quite premature to predict anything at present.

ER: Did the efficiency of MCB employees improve after denationalisation ?

UG: Efficiency is similar as it was before denationalisation. It was good and it is still good. It is a wrong impression that efficiency deteriorates after nationalisation. People hold extra-ordinary expectations from Bank employees. They expect that bank employees would stand up and behave like slaves as soon as they enter into the Bank, without knowing that time has been changed. Bhuttos have given them much awareness and a sense of self-respect. The workers are well aware of the duties and privileges.

ER: is there any ethnic divide in your organisation ?

UG: Ethnic polarisation is against the national unity. In the greater context of MCB we have no such problem. But we being a part and parcel of the whole system are no exception to it. The division has inflicted irreparable loss to the workers community whose rights and privileges are common. Ethnic exploitation is a crushing tool of industrialists, their stooges and the ruling class. The problem could only be overcome through the unity and awareness of the workers. We are optimistic that within two or three years the linguistic divide would come to an end.

ER: How will you comment on the approach of government towards workers ?

UG: The present Prime Minister of Pakistan is basically an industrialist. To expect betterment of workers from him appears illogical. The present government while acting against the interest of the workers, benefited the industrialists. Privatisation is an example of those excesses.

ER: How do you foresee the future of workers in the country.

UG: Future appears quite bleak. A sense of insecurity prevails among the workers of the country. The scenario is grim. There is lawlessness in the country. Kalashinkov culture dominates the whole system. The conditions are unlikely to improve without adopting pragmatic approach and justice. Anything short of that might lead to a revolution.

Usman Ghani (42), is the Secretary General of MCB Staff Union of Pakistan (CBA). The total strength of MCB is about 14,000 out of which 9,500 are unionised workers. Usman, a bitter critic of privatisation, talks on several issues.
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Title Annotation:Industrial Relations in Pakistan '92; interview with Usman Ghani
Author:Haque, Ansarul
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:456
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