Strike off as Kingfisher agrees to pay

Employees threat to protest at Formula One venue did the magic

Strike off as Kingfisher agrees to pay

Desperate to avoid an agitation by its employees at the Formula One Grand Prix starting on Friday, Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines on Thursday entered into an agreement with the striking staff ending the 26-day-old impasse.

According to the agreement, the embattled airlines will pay salary dues for four months by December end and March salary within 24 hours. After the agreement  was reached, pilots, engineers and other staff agreed to join work immediately. The April salary will be paid by October 31, May salary before Diwali (November 12) and June salary by the end of the calendar year. The salary for the remaining months of July to September will be paid  after KFA manages to infuse fresh capital, the striking employees said.

However, given the airline’s precarious financial situation, getting fresh capital is bound to be an uphill task. It had declared a lockout on October 1, 2012. The employees, who have not been paid salary for the last seven months, have been on strike since September 30 following which the management declared a partial lockout the next day.

Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Arun Mishra told Deccan Herald that Vijay Mallya would be meeting him on Friday to discuss last week’s suspension of the carrier’s operating licence. “We will decide the future course of action only after that. There are several issues involved, the issue of operational preparedness, maintenance, and how they are going to be airworthy, what kind of operational safety measures they are going to take,” Mishra said.

As there was no sign of the management agreeing to pay salary as demanded by them, the employees had threatened to hold protests at the F1 race track in Greater Noida. Sahara Force India, co-owned by Mallya, is participating in the three-day event.  After the successful talks held by airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal on Thursday, the management said in a statement: “Kingfisher is pleased to announce that all of its employees have agreed to resume work and report for duty immediately. All employees are now eagerly looking forward to working together in order to restart operations very soon. We will now finalise and present our resumption plan to the DGCA and hope to get their concurrence soon.”

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