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Date updated : 02-Dec-2016

Status: closed

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Pakistan: protest mass arrest of union members at Quetta Serena Hotel!

UPDATE: The sixty-three members and officers of the IUF-affiliated Quetta Serena Hotel Union who were arrested on November 30 are all now back at work. Management has not pressed charges nor followed through with disciplinary proceedings, and the provincial High Court has overturned an earlier labour court decision instigated by the hotel management banning union activity at the hotel.

Sixty-three members and officers of the IUF-affiliated Quetta Serena Hotel Union were arrested on November 30 for peacefully gathering in front of the hotel after union members were denied entry and prevented from performing their jobs.

The previous day, the union had held a rally at the Quetta Press Club to protest ongoing union-busting by management of the hotel. Workers reporting to work after the rally were issued disciplinary notices ('show cause') and refused entry to the hotel the next day. When union workers inside the hotel joined them outside to ask management why they were not allowed to work, instead of talking with the union management called the police, who made 63 arrests. The IUF is now assisting with their release on bail.

Since July 2015, the union has been requesting negotiations on proposals for a new collective agreement. Rather than negotiating with the workers' recognized bargaining representative, management signed an illegal agreement with a group of individual workers in October 2015 and began harassing union members and officers.

Union members are now being victimized and arrested for defending their rights. USE THE FORM BELOW TO SEND A MESSAGE to the management of the hotel, demanding that all legal charges and disciplinary proceedings against the workers be immediately dropped and the rights of the union and its members fully respected, including the right to negotiate terms and conditions of employment at the hotel.

The Serena Group, whose largest shareholder is the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, operates luxury hotels and resorts in East Africa and South and Central Asia.