Pilots' strike deferred after court ban

Strike repealed for now, will begin on March 31 if issue not resolved by AI management


Sweta Ranjan | March 16, 2011

The Delhi high court banned the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) from going on strike against the Air India management from March 15 citing the ongoing conciliatory proceedings with the central labour commission.

Following the court order and a fresh round of talks with the Air India authorities, ICPA has decided to defer the strike till March 31 - the deadline for the submission of a report by a panel of independent experts. The Air India management had proposed the forming of the panel, which the government cleared to help facilitate the resolution of the pilots' angst.

ICPA members - anguished pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines - have been locked in a struggle with the AI management to ensure pay parity with pilots of the erstwhile AI flights. When the union's talks with the management and Air India chairperson Arvind Jadhav failed, the civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi had directed ICPA to hold conciliatory meetings with the AI authorities under the arbitral of the central labour commissioner.

ICPA had maintained that the talks under the aegis of the CLC yielded little as a way out of the stalemate and notified industrial action against the airlines March 15 onwards.

However, after the second round of the tripartite talks on Tuesday, the union has decided to defer the strike awaiting the report subimssion by the committee costituting justice Dhmadhikari, professor R Dholakia and Rajeshwar Dayal.

ICPA general secretary Rishabh Kapoor said, "The management has finally handed over the letter of the constitution of the independent committee with Justice Dharmadhikari, Professor R Dholakia and Rajeshwar Dayal on the issue of pay parity and the managment has submitted to the CLC that an interim proposal will be handed over to the ministry of civil aviation by March 31."

On Monday, the association had said that the strike would be imminent if talks with the central labour commissioner fail on Tuesday morning.

The association had served a 14-day strike notice on February 24 following which it deferred the strike by a week after the intervention of civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi.

The union alleged that despite promising to level the salaries of all pilots after the merger of erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India the management failed to do so.



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