Wednesday July 24, 2024

PTDC run companies closed, all regular employees terminated

By Saeed Ahmed
July 03, 2020

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) on Thursday while closing the operations of Flashman’s Hotel, operations of Pakistan Tours LTD as well as its Motels (North) Ltd issued termination letters to all regular employees of these companies with immediate effect.

The termination letters were served to all the employees of Flashman’s Hotel, Pakistan Tours Ltd and PTDC Motels (North) Ltd through a circular by manager (P&A) without mentioning his name in it. The action of closure of companies and termination of all their regular employees were taken on the decisions recently held meetings in June i.e. on 09.06.20, 11.06.2020 and 17.06.20. The decision to close PTDC companies and their employees were taken according to circular due to irreparable and continuous financial losses having no other resource, as well as current COVID-19 pandemic, decisions of the federal government and PTDC Board of Directors in separate meetings held last month i.e. June.

The meetings unanimously resolved to close down the operations of the companies as per Order 11 (I) and 11-A of Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968 after making in-depth analysis of the present situation and consideration of the facts and circumstances in the companies besides in best interest of the employees, shareholders for survival and future viability. In the circular the management of PTDC has directed all terminated employees, officers, workmen to get their dues cleared from the concerned manager after submitting a clearance certificate to the office for releasing admissible legal dues.

Meanwhile, all assets of the companies including office record duly verified by concerned in-charge would be handed over to the authorised officer as nominated against a proper receipt. It merits to mention here that the issue of closing PTDC run companies and terminating the services of permanent employees erupted in August, 2019. The plan was to be implemented in January this year. However, the PTDC workers union in order to save the employees being terminated approached NIRC as well as Peshawar High Court and managed to obtain a stay order against the decision. COVID-19 pandemic further delayed the issue of termination of employees and closure of PTDC run companies.

As soon as the circular of closure of PTDC companies and termination of all their regular employees were issued, a wave of shock and unrest as well as depression mounted on the faces of all terminated employees. To express anger and resentment, the employees on the call of PTDC Workers Union held a protest demonstration in PTDC office inside Flashman’s Hotel. The protest led by President Majid Yaqoob was participated by all terminated employees which also included officers.

The angry protestors raised slogans against the Managing Director, Intikhab Alam and Manager PTDC Baber Malik who they said were mentor of the whole decision of closing companies and terminating the services of their employees without giving any dues to them including Provident Fund and Gratuity. “We have been terminated from services under golden shake-hand scheme but why the government has not paid our provident funds and gratuity,” questioned Majid Yaqoob along with other employees. “Firing us from our jobs before retirement periods is nothing but economic killing by government and the present management, he said and depriving us from our due payments which include provident fund and gratuity is totally unjust step taken against us,” he added. The Union representatives vowed to continue their protests till the time their services are not reinstated or provident funds and gratuity are not paid to the relieved employees.

When this correspondent approached, Assistant Manager Mukhtar Ali for comments, he confirmed the reports of closure of PTDC run companies and termination of their employees with immediate effect. However, he informed that the services of those employees are yet not terminated who are directly serving in PTDC like high officials and other employees. Flashman’s Hotel general manager has also not been sacked. The decision of sacking remaining employees belonging directly to PTDC would be enforced in next phase after meetings by members of Board of Governors, Mukhtar Ali told.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis & HRD and Chairman National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) and PTDC Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari said that the government was not shutting the PTDC down and was going to restructure it according to best practices.In a message he said: “We‘re making changes in PTDC as a step towards restructuring it in accordance with global best practices and not shutting it down. This was important to do because over time due to mismanagement of resources and political appointments it had become a stagnant organisation running in loss.

He said that the PTDC will continue to work as a federal implementation body under NTCB, while the new structure is proposed in consultation with field experts. “For those causing hue and cry, there’s no need for it; -PTDC is finally on its way to become a more efficient organisation with better workforce and improved policy making,” Bukhari added.