Govt may invoke ESMA

 
Even as the government considered resorting to the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on the striking pilots, Jet boss Naresh Goyal met civil aviation secretary M M Nambiar and briefed him on the situation.

At the same time, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai wrote to chief secretaries of all the states to review the situation. “The chief secretaries have been asked to see whether there is a necessity to invoke the provisions of ESMA to ensure restoration of services so that general public is not put to inconvenience,”an official spokesperson said.

Taking note of the serious situation, the home secretary is understood to have decided to act on the basis of the laid down guidelines, called Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs), to deal with the agitation. The relevant CARs noted that any act on the part of pilots which could lead to last minute cancellation of flights and harassment of passengers “would be treated as an act against public interest.” The Aviation Ministry directed Jet to put in place a full refund mechanism without any deduction, on passenger request.

It was also asked to adopt a method of combination/re-scheduling of flights for smooth transfer of passengers. A Jet statement said as per the directions of the regional labour commissioner, the company has started a conciliation process with the pilots. “The labour commissioner had categorically stated that any strike by the pilots during the pendency of conciliation, would be deemed an illegal act under Industrial Disputes Act,” it added.

32 Jet Airways flights cancelled

Jet Airways passengers will have to face a tough time on Wednesday also as the striking pilots threw enough indication that the agitation will continue for the second day, reports DHNS from New Delhi. The airline sacked three more pilots in addition to the two who were earlier suspended.

The carrier also announced on Tuesday night that 32 flights to be operated on Wednesday stood cancelled. They include Hyderabad-Bangalore, Mumbai-Bangalore and Bangalore-Mumbai. Taking a tough stand, Jet Airways pilots’ union on Tuesday said there could be no move to end the deadlock till their sacked colleagues are reinstated. “Our stand remains the same. The management must take back the two sacked pilots unconditionally,” Pilots' Union National Aviator’s Guild president G Kaushik said.

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