Air India employee unions defer strike action

New Delhi: The Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), an organisation of Air India employees, has decided to defer a strike action following an intervention by the Labour Commissioner. The employees had earlier announced their intention to go on strike from Tuesday night.

"We have decided to defer our strike as the Labour Commissioner has intervened. The next conciliatory meeting has been scheduled for 4 April by when we have to submit our demands to the Chief Labour Commissioner," JB Kadiyan, general secretary, ACEU, said after the conciliation proceedings.

The strike call was earlier declared illegal by the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), Air India's parent organisation. Along with the ministry of civil aviation, NACIL too had said that it would "take a serious view" if the employees went ahead with their threat. The joint action committee of eight unions, including the ACEU and the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, had issued the strike call.

The unions, which cover almost all sections of the airline's staff, were protesting on the "non-implementation" of various demands including agreements relating to wages and cadre policy. They also claimed that the sale of the state-owned company was "imminent" given the present scenario.

In a notice to airline CMD, V Thulasidas, the unions said steps were being taken "to systematically sabotage" Air India. They also claimed that "poor planning, non- implementation, poor decisions and execution at the highest level have led the company to losses in the last six months."