Air India Crisis Won't End Yet, More Flights Delayed
Wednesday, 23rd May 2012 at 11:37am
The issues between Air India management and its pilots continue on Wednesday, and it seems like the stalemate will not come to an end yet. According to reports, nonetheless, the pilots of the said airline are planning to propose a deal with the government and go back to their work. It all began when the airline, which is facing bankruptcy, dismissed 10 pilots, refused to acknowledge the Indian Pilots Guild (the pilots' union), and closed its offices since over a hundred pilots aborted their duty.
Air India, on Tuesday night, finally declared its stand on the issue. In their statement, they told that their pilots intentionally disrupted scheduled flights by organizing a mass sick leave, thereby damaging the airline company's reputation and image. They added that this severely irresponsible action was meant to cause inconvenience on their valued passengers. As a result, Air India declined to recognize the Indian Pilots Guild and closed its offices. In addition to that, the airline also fired the 10 pilots who are the bearers of the said union group.
On Tuesday, the pilots met with the Chief Labour Commissioner for negotiation regarding the issue, but they were not able to settle anything.
So far, neither of the involved parties sees this issue ending anytime soon. Needless to say, a lot of flights were being affected, causing inconvenience to a lot of passengers.
This move by the pilots has resulted to the airline cancelling as much as five international flights since Monday. Passengers at Delhi Airport started to complain, as many of them have been waiting for hours for their flights. The same thing is also happening in Mumbai.
On Wednesday morning, two international flights were called off while one flight was delayed.
The cause of the pilots' latest strike was believed to be the Rs30,000 crore financial rescue given to the airline. The Indian Pilots' Guild, which Air India refused to acknowledge, requested intervention from the Aviation Minister. Jitendra Awhad, the Guild's current president, in his interview with IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai said that no management will ever deem a strike as legal, and that they will use all means to put them under pressure. He even added that the airline is disseminating false stories that the pilots are going back to their work, because they are scared, although he cleared that this won't happen.
He further cited that looking at the passengers and at the actions of the management, intervention of Mr. Ajit Singh is necessary. He believes that this man, having a socialist background, will not let the airline management's decisions go unnoticed.
By: Pete Lee.