Pakistan Supreme Court confirms workers’ rights to form unions and carry out protest action

Following a ruling by the Pakistan Supreme Court on 8 February 2016, government workers in Pakistan can now form unions and carry out protest actions without fear of punitive action by the government.

The ruling came about following a previous decision by the Balochistan High Court to ban protests by government employees and labour unions after the Balochistan Government Teachers’ Association decided to form a union and hold a protest in support of their demands. The Supreme Court decision annuls the High Court ban.

The Supreme Court further ruled that forming labour unions and launching or calling for protest action is a fundamental right of government employees. Pakistan has ratified ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) abd and 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining).

PSI applauds the decision of the Supreme Court and congratulates Pakistan labour unions on this ruling.