Operations will be 'normal',says Air India after strike threat

Operations will be 'normal',says Air India after strike threat

Air India today ruled out any disruption of its operations due to a strike warning from various unions from April 2, saying there is no threat of any strike from any of the registered unions of its employees.

In what would have come as a breather to the debt-laden national carrier, the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) today came out with a statement ruling out any strike. In a statement, the Air India said it would like to clarify that "there is no threat of any strike from any or the registered Unions of Air India employees and all its operations will be normal."

It also pointed that its management met the unions at Mumbai and explained them the action taken to clear the dues of salaries and productivity-linked incentives (PLI) including the backlog payments in the coming months. "The management also assured the Unions that it would clear any backlog of payment till May as soon as the budgetary support is received towards equity infusion from the government," the Air India said.

The unions had a few days back threatened to go on strike from April 2 as three rounds of talks with management failed to resolve the issues of Air India employees, who have not been paid their dues for the past five months. The strike warning followed the demand of the unions for a written commitment from the management that it will clear the entire dues before April 1, union sources had told PTI.

The oldest and largest trade union of Air India ACEU, however, said today that it had not given any strike notice. "Being the oldest and the largest trade union of Air India, we would like to bring to your notice that there is no strike of the ground staff, cabin crew and other categories belonging to our Union and neither have we given any strike notice and Air India operations will be as smooth as they are," the Union said in a statement.

Air India said that its management has informed the unions of its employees that there has been a "significant improvement" in the load factors, yields and revenues in the months of February and March till date and that it is quite evident that the carrier is "on the road to recovery" due to performance in key performance parameters.

"The management requested the unions not to resort to any precipitative action in the present circumstances, which might affect revenue and load especially in the coming peak season," it said. In its release, the ACEU, while assuring that the Air India operations will be smooth as they are on April 2, rued that workers of AI are "instigated by disgruntled elements" to go on strike every summer season, when the tourist traffic is bound to grow.

"Time and again certain vested interests groups mislead people in general to create confusion among the passengers of AI and resultantly the passengers stop making future bookings and obviously this gives benefits to our rival airlines," the ACEU said.

It said that the management had already issued the schedule of payment spread for March, April and May and added "we will not let this schedule be changed or deviated from any ostensible threats".

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