40 trade unionists and socialists, including members of the PCS [the main public sector union in Britain)], in Glasgow, members of the International Socialists (CWI), and delegates from the national UNISON [Britain’s largest union] conference, which is meeting in Glasgow this week, occupied the Pakistani Consulate in Glasgow, Wednesday 22 June. They protested at the repression meted out to Pakistan Telecom workers fighting privatisation. Hundreds of workers were arrested and many held in prison while taking part in a three week long strike against the privatisation of the PTCL Telecom company.
Two members of the UNISON National Executive Council, Glenn Kelly and Jean Thorpe, were invited to meet the officials. The officials agreed to immediately forward the protesters’ urgent demand for the release of all arrested trade union members in Pakistan and for the cancellation of plans to privatise the PTCL.
The impact of the international protests at Pakistani embassies across the world, organised by the CWI, was clear, as the officials in Glasgow knew about the PTCL strike in great detail.
More than one thousand leaflets explaining the case of the Pakistani workers were distributed at the UNISON conference.