Government takes tough stand against ''Indian'' strikers

New Delhi: Taking a tough stand against the flash strike called by the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), the central government has directed the strikers to call off the strike by evening or face drastic action.

The strike called by Indian employees on the wage hike issue led to 62 (over 32 per cent) of Indian Airlines''s 192 flights being cancelled and many others being delayed, leaving 6,000-8,000 passengers in the lurch,

The issue includes withdrawing arrears of Rs267 crore that the management had agreed to pay the staff and possibly declaring a lock-out.

Union civil aviation minister Praful Patel condemned the strike as "unwarranted and illegal", at a press conference and said that the management would wait till evening for the union to call off the strike. The management has already suspended 27 employee members of the union.

For Indian Airlines''s competitors, the strike has come as a bonanza. Both Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have seen their passenger load factor (PLF) go up by over 5 per cent.