IA pilots defer strike till March 15

Decision to postpone agitation comes after ICPA meeting with chief labour commissioner and Air India management


Sweta Ranjan | March 9, 2011

After a marathon ten-hour meeting between the Indian Commercial Pilot Association (ICPA), Air India management and the chief labour commissioner, the pilots' representative body has agreed to defer its palnned strike to March 15.

ICPA had originally scheduled the strike, demanding for better working conditions and pay parity for the pilots of the erstwhile Indian Ailrlines (now merged with Air India) with the Air India pilots, for March 9.

The association's decision to put the strike in abeyance comes in the backdrop of civil aviation minister Vayalar ravi's appeal against a strike in a meeting with ICPA on Monday. Ravi had also announced the setting up of a three-member committee to look into the pilots' grievances at the meeting.

"Following assurances from civil aviation minister, we have decided to defer the strike till March 15. The management has also promised to consider our case seriously but if they fail in their words we will not wait further," said Rishabh Kapoor, general secretary of the union.

ICPA has maintained that the airlines managemnet has been unheeding of the pilots' grievances so far and has repeatedly violated terms of agreement on the pay parity issue.

The association claims that the IA pilots are discrimanted against by the management, with a huge gap between their salaries and that of the Air India pilots. The working conditions also are significantly better for the AI pilots, ICPA says.

"The management has violated the memorandum of settlement signed in November 2009 on implementing the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for the pilots," Kapoor informed adding that the association is demanding a payment of arrears since the date of the merger of the two airlines. ICPA represents about 800 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines.

ICPA is also demanding payment of arrears since the date of merger of the two airlines in 2007. The ICPA represents some 800 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines.

The trade union also has charged the managment with racial discrimination, indicating the differences in pays and perks offered to Air India's expat pilots.



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