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Walk for Justice Shows Broad Support for Pearl Continental Karachi Workers

Posted to the IUF website 03-Oct-2005

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Hundreds of supporters of the struggle for trade union rights at the Pearl Continental Karachi hotel took to the streets on September 30 to take part in the Insaf (Justice) Walk organized by the Pearl Continental Hotel (PC) Workers' Solidarity Committee. Hotel workers and representatives of a broad spectrum of trade union, political, social and professional organizations showed their solidarity by walking some five kilometers down Chundrigar Road, Karachi's busy commercial artery, on a route which ended in a public meeting at the Karachi Press Club. More than 50 women from the Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum were among those taking part in the walk, which was the most visible trade union mobilization in Karachi in recent years.

The Justice Walk was organized by the Pearl Continental Hotel Workers' Solidarity Committee, which was formed at a public meeting on "Trade union rights and the role of civil society" organized by the PC Union and IUF Pakistan on September 14 in Karachi. The organizations represented at the meeting decided to highlight the role of state institutions in repressing basic trade union rights in Pakistan by building broad support for the PC workers struggle. Among other support measures, the Committee will investigate and publicize the government's complete failure to respond to the 2003 decision of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association, which called for the reinstatement of dismissed union members and officers.

The Justice Walk, the Committee's first public intervention, has already achieved one important success. In the course of the march, participants staged a short sit-down in front of the office of the Daily Jang, the influential media group which had previously blacked out news of the hotel conflict for more than three years. The sit-in generated news coverage the following day in two of the group's newspapers.

You can support the struggle for trade union rights at the PC Karachi hotel by clicking here.