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Coronavirus Coronavirus Updates Human Rights News

Citizens Archives Of Pakistan Fires 13 Employees Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

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Following the lockdown across the country due to the coronavirus crisis, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) fired 13 of its employees on Friday without prior notice.

Raza Gillani, one of the suspended employees of CAP posted a series of tweets, informing the people about what happened with him and 12 other employees. He said, “Two days ago, I was fired from The Citizens Archive of Pakistan along with 12 other employees. We were told that the organisation won’t pay us until the coronavirus situation in Pakistan dies down, and that we’ll be ‘welcome to apply again’ after that.”

He alleged that the organistaion has violated the rights of its employees as it was mentioned in their contracts that they would not be terminated without written letter, and a month’s notice with salary.

It is pertinent to mention that CAP’s head office is located in Karachi, and according to Sindh government’s recent directives, no organisation can lay off any employ during the on-going coronavirus emergency in the province.

Raza Gillani called out The Citizens Archive of Pakistan for projecting a progressive image yet abandoning its own employees in these vulnerable times. While lambasting the organisation, he questioned, “Why is it the most vulnerable employees who are considered a liability at the time of a crisis?”

Gilani later posted an update, saying that after an hour of posting the tweets, the HR department of CAP called him and told him that he along with all the fired employees would be given a month salary and notice period.

Aamna Rashid, another suspended employee of CAP posted a status on Facebook, highlighting her case. Aamna said she was fired without any prior warning, adding “the organization we were working for told us that they were firing all “non-essential” employees due to the global pandemic.”

Two days ago, I along with 13 employees were laid off from our jobs from the Citizens Archive of Pakistan with no…

Posted by Aamna Rashid on Sunday, March 29, 2020

While highlighting the ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’ conduct of CAP, she said: “The timing and abruptness of this act shows the horrible employment policies overall that allowed for exploitation of the labour and intellect of their employees.”

Meanwhile, CAP has posted a statement of its board of governors on Twitter, saying that for the last several months the organisation had been struggling to run museum operations, since they had not received ‘six months’ worth of payments’.

“If the domestic and global economy manages to stabilise after this pandemic and CAP is able to recover the funds owed to the organisation, employees who have been terminated will be the first we contact in regards to a return to their position at National History Museum (NHM),” the statement read.

The Citizen Archive of Pakistan claims to be a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, operating in Karachi and Lahore. According to them, they seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history and instill pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage. Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is the “Patron-in-Chief’ and a founding member of CAP who served as President of the organization from 2007 to 2016.

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