Air India pilots to call off strike immediately

Agitating Air India pilots today told the Delhi High Court that they would call off their 58-day-long strike with immediate effect.

The pilots also told Justice Reva Khetrapal through their counsel Geeta Luthra that they would return to work in 48 hours and submit joining reports, while those pilots whose services had been terminated during the strike would submit reports expressing their willingness to join duty.

The pilots decided to call off their strike on assurance by the airline to the court that the management would consider the grievances of the pilots ''sympathetically''.
"Serious effort has been made by this court to settle the dispute. Counsel for both the parties have assured this court that they will be extending full corporation in this regard to their respective client," justice Khetrapal remarked while disposing the plea of the striking pilots.

''The senior counsel (Ms Luthra) appearing for the pilots has said that her clients will immediately call off the strike and join their duties in 48 hours, by giving joining reports or the report expressing their willingness to join the duty.

''The AI management shall sympathetically consider the grievances of the pilots including the aspect of reinstatement of those pilots who were terminated as a consequence to their strike,'' justice Khetrapal said as she disposed the pilots' plea for a direction to the management to take back 101 sacked pilots, including 10 office bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild.

Under the order, the pilots as also the management are required to appear before the conciliator, chief labour commissioner N K Prasad, on 5 July at 4.30 pm.

The pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) have been on strike for two months with around 440 pilots having struck work since 7 May protesting the management move to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines in the merged entity on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing-787 Dreamliner.

The two carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines merged into a single entity in 2007.