Air India pilots defer strike call till 30 November 2009

Mumbai: Pilots of state-owned airline, Air India, have deferred a decision to strike work by six days - from 24 November to 30 November. They took the decision after heeding to management request for more time to respond to their demands.

The pilots are protesting the implementation of a restructuring plan which may result in their pay and allowances being drastically cut. They are also protesting default on the payment of their salary arrears.

The pilots are currently involved in conciliation talks with the management, which have remained inconclusive. The Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), SK Mukhopadhyay, has asked the pilots to defer their strike till the next round of negotiations that are scheduled to commence on 30 November 2009.

 The management and the pilots have already met once before to sort out issues, along with the CLC, on 9 November 2009.

Captain Shailendra Singh, president, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) said, ''The second round of talks was unproductive as the management did not come with solutions to our demands. They also asked for more time, and on the request of Chief Labour Commissioner, we have deferred our strike call till 30 November 2009.''

Singh claimed that the talks failed as the management had come up with 'ambiguous' proposals on their demands. ''The third round of conciliation talks will be held on 30 November 2009 and if on that day management does not give us a positive response then we will go on strike from the same day.''