Air India sacks 58 employees

Air India sacks 58 employees

Union threatens strike from June 12

Air India sacks 58 employees

A sealed office of the Air Corporation Employees Union at the Mumbai airport following its derecognition by the management on Thursday. PTI

The management also de-recognised two major staff unions which launched the protest, angered over a “gag order”. The decision came even as flight services were being restored to normalcy after they were badly hit for two days by the strike. “AI will restore normal schedules from Friday,” an airline release said on Thursday.

The two de-recognised unions are the All India Aircraft Engineers Association and the Air Corporations Employees Union (ACEU).The ACEU hit back threatening another strike from June 12, charging the management with conspiring to instigate trouble in a bid to later declare a lockout in the national carrier.

The AI action came within hours after the Delhi High Court restrained the agitating employees from continuing the strike and the government talked tough while giving a free hand to the management to deal with them.The strike had led to the cancellation of 130 flights, affecting 13,000 passengers. Besides, NACIL also incurred losses of over of Rs 10 crore.About 20,000 employees belonging to ACEU and AIAEA had gone on strike which accounted for roughly 60 per cent of the airline’s staff.

‘Illegal strike’
The Air India release, citing reasons for de-recognition, said AIAEA and ACEU resorted to illegal strike on May 25, causing harassment to innocent passengers, revenue loss and disrupting flights nationwide and to international destinations.

The company alleged that the two unions had indulged in regular violation of code of discipline and of the settlements and disrupted the normal working of the airliner.
It said AIAEA had approached the media criticising the systems and procedures of the company which was in breach of office order dated July 27, 2009.

The management also sealed the union offices across the country. AI sources said more dismissals and suspensions were likely. This is the first time that employees have been sacked by AI in large numbers.The management has convened a meeting with the principal officers of all unions in Mumbai on June 1.

“The management intends to communicate through the office- bearers of the unions the actual reasons leading to the present situation,” AI said. Reacting to the sack order, Dinakar Shetty, a leader of the ACEU, said the union was waiting for a formal communication from the management regarding termination and suspension before deciding on the future course of action.ACEU general secretary J B Kadiyan termed it a conspiracy and accused AI CMD Arvind Jadhav of following a “Hitlerian” approach.