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Industrial relations: Trade unions not allowed at UniLever

Lahore High Court. PHOTO: LHC.GOV.PK

Lahore High Court. PHOTO: LHC.GOV.PK

LAHORE: Lahore High Court on Tuesday annulled the registration of trade unions formed by workers at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore, and at a manufacturing unit of UniLever Pakistan in two separate petitions.

Hearing a petition filed by the BISE Lahore, Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi observed that the work of board’s employees was recognised as an essential service in view of a notification issued by the Punjab governor. Thus, he said, they could not form a trade union under the Punjab Industrial Relations Act of 2010. The judge said that the BISE was concerned with regulation of the education system and its activities could not be considered as commercial or industrial in nature. “The formation of a trade union and its registration by the Trade Unions registrar appears to be based on mala fide intent,” he said. In a petition filed by UniLever Pakistan Foods Limited, Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza annulled the registration of Ittehad Workers Union at the company’s plant on Multan Road.

Advocate Tafazzul Rizvi, counsel for the petitioner, contended that his client was a trans-provincial establishment and as a provincial authority the Trade Unions registrar could not register a trade union at its plant. He said the registration of trade unions at plants owned by his client fell under the domain of the National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC).

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.

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