AAI unions to protest against airports privatisation

The joint forum of AAI unions and associations will take out a protest march at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Thursday against airportsprivatisation.

Last year, the government had decided to privatise airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati for operation, management, and development through public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The forum alleges that the government has "unilaterally" decided to privatise dozens of profit-making airports, which is neither in public interest nor for better management of these aerodromes.

The AAI manages around 120 airports in the country with a workforce of around 17,000. The AAI unions/associations recently formed the forum to protect and safeguard the AAI and interests of its employees besides explaining the impact of the privatisation.

The forum comprises the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees union, Airports Authority Officers Association and Indian Airports Kamgar Union.

The joint forum of unions and associations of AAI has written a letter to you urging to review the decision of AAI Board to recommend dozen of airports to privatise as the recommendation of the board is not in public interest or in the interest of better management of airports.

"The forum has (therefore) decided to march to Parliament from Jantar Mantar on November 28 and on December 5 (against privatisation)," the forum said in a notice to AAI chairman Arvind Singh last week.

The AAI employees have been protesting against the move since the Government handed over six of its airports to Adani group in February this year.

Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) won the rights to run these six airports after competitive bidding.

In addition to this, six more airports --Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Indore, Trichy, Amritsar and Raipur- are also reportedly going to be put on the block in the second phase. Since then the employees have been protesting against the move.

Last week, it held a lunch hour demonstration for three days at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in New Delhi, which is the AAI headquarters and also houses the aviation ministry. 

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