MIAL housekeeping staff hold strike for higher salaries

Mumbai: More than 1,900 housekeeping workers at the airport went on an 18-hour flash-strike from last night, demanding increase in wages, which impacted passenger amenities at both the domestic and international terminals.

Over 1,900 workers at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) started the strike from 2000 hrs last evening and resumed duties at 1400 hrs today, one of the union members said today.

"They have not increased our payments for the last eight years in spite of repeated pleas from our side to do so," said an employee, who is affiliated to the Shiv Sena's union wingBhartiya Kamgar Sena.

The airport spokesman confirmed that there was a strike but declined details. The GVK-run MIAL has outsourced the housekeeping work to a city-based company called Krystal Integrated Services, which employs these 1,900 workers. Out of these around 1,000 are in the international terminal while the rest are at the domestic terminal.

Another employee said there have been paltry salary hike which are not in line with inflation. Salaries have been increased by Rs 200-300 in the past, taking total to Rs 8,500 a month which is very inadequate.

The employee added that 15 days ago, they had struck work for two hours and they resumed duties after being promised by the management to look into the matter.

Today, they resumed work in the afternoon, after an assurance from the airport management to increase wages in the next two days, said the employees, who also warned that if there is no announcement, they will be forced to strike again.

Passenger amenities at the airport were affected due to the strike, with washrooms, urinals and waiting halls being the most affected. One of the workers said the last time when they had struck for two hours, a lot of garbage and filth had accumulated at the terminals.

"It is sad, but we do not have any other option. All our people have resumed work now," the worker said.

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