Agitating Air India pilots ready to end strike

Jun 25, 2012, 07:28 IST | Surender Sharma

However, the Indian Pilots' Guild wants all the sacked pilots to be reinstated unconditionally and their union be recognised by the Air India management

Taking a complete U-turn from its earlier stance, the agitating Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) said that it would end the agitation if all the pilots are taken back unconditionally and their union is recognised. Besides, the IPG has dropped its demand of parity of wages and career prospects with other Air India pilots for now.

Hunger strike: Eleven pilots of the IPG went on an indefinite hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/Rajeev Tyagi

Speaking to MiD DAY Joint Secretary of the IPG Tauseef Mukadam, said, “If the Air India management takes back all the pilots unconditionally and recognises our union, we will bring our agitation to an end,” he said.

Out of 440 pilots, the Air India has sacked 101 pilots and de-recognised IPG. When asked, what about their core demand for which they went on strike, Mukadam said, “We will fight for it once we are in. Right now our immediate priority is to get all the IPG members reinstated.”

The strike, which has led Air India to curtail its international long-haul flight schedule, had been declared illegal by the government and the Delhi High Court.

Meanwhile, 11 pilots of the IPG went on an indefinite hunger strike from yesterday at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Also, 30 pilots gave up food for a day demanding reinstatement of their colleagues. The IPG officials said that similar protests would be held in Mumbai too from Monday (today).

The ailing national carrier has been operating 38 out of 45 services for over a month now. The strike entered its 48th day yesterday and is believed to have caused revenue loss of Rs 530 crore to the airline so far. 

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