Covid-19: Pakistan Telecom Workers says lives have no alternatives!
The UNI Pakistan Affiliates Liaison Council (UNI PALC) together with the Pakistan Telecoms Employees Union (PTEU) and the PTCL Ittehad Workers Federation (CBA) have recently issued a joint statement calling for immediate measures to protect PTCL workers who are deployed in the field during this Covid-19 pandemic times. They expressed regret and concern over the poor management decisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).
In the joint statement, Hassan Muhammad Rana Sec. International Affairs PTEU & Hafiz Lutfullah the Secretary General of PTCL Workers Ittehad Federation (CBA) said:
“COVID-19 has spread all over the world and there is a dangerous trend of infections too in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan had implemented a complete lock down in some areas of the country but in this crucial time, PTCL Workers are still fearlessly fulfilling our front-end responsibilities to maintain connectivity of ATM's, media lines, and internet connections. Despite our willingness and sacrifices, there is still no special arrangements made nor any special incentive to compensate and encourage the frontline workers by the company”.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is the largest integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) company of Pakistan. It acts as the communication backbone for the country with largest fiber cable network that spans all over the country and submarine cables connecting Pakistan to the world. In response to the demand made by the unions, the employee relations of the PTCL claimed to have taken account of employee safety but made no elaboration on the exact measures taken.
The Unions rejected the routine reply by the company. They have made field visits to observe the conditions of the workers are operating in. They noted that workers were provided with barely appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE). The unions pointed out that the PTCL workers have generated more than Rs 100 Billion group revenue in 2019 but the company failed to adopt proper measures to protect PTCL field workers.