Still unpaid Kingfisher senior staff threaten fresh stir

A section of the staff of Kingfisher Airlines, including pilots, engineers and cabin crew, have threatened to launch a fresh agitation claiming that their dues have not been paid despite direct promises from liquor baron Vijay Mallya, promoter of the airline.

The staff has said it is preparing to take the matter of unpaid dues to the Labour Court.

A strike by senior staff was averted in early April after Mallya met their representatives at his Altamount Road residence in Mumbai and reiterated his promise of clearing the dues of junior staff by 4 April and of the pilots and engineers by 10 April.

A section of the Kingfisher staff finally got paid on 4 April after a months' wait, as the Central Board of Excise and Customs de-froze its accounts in February after Mallya paid up dues worth Rs20 crore. Some 40 of Kingfisher's accounts were frozen by the service tax and income tax departments in November for non-payment of dues.

However, senior staffers, including pilots, seem to be still awaiting their dues. "April has ended and with that the airline has once again accumulated salary dues of employees of four months (January-April). The top management has not bothered to inform us as to when they intend to pay us. The situation is back to square one," some airline employees told PTI in Mumbai.

The pilots were considering seeking the intervention of the Labour Court in the matter and they would soon take a joint decision with other staffers on the future course of action, the news agency's sources said.