Pilots to strike soon: ICPA

Resolution attempt fails as independent experts' panel to address plot's grievances misses deadline


Sweta Ranjan | April 1, 2011

With the expiry of the March 31 deadline for the Air India management to resolve pilots' issues, Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) has announced that its affiliates will be going on a strike soon.

The pilots' body had earlier deferred striking work multiple times after the airline's management had sopught rapprochment under the direction of civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi.

However, after an independent experts' panel formed by the management failed to submit its report to the chief labour commissioner (CLC) on March 31, ICPA has stated that it remains cmmitted to agitating to demand solutions to the pilots' problems.

The union has even shot down a request by the CLC for an extension of the deadline by a day.

ICPA general secretary captain Rishabh Kapoor said, “After much persuasion, we had agreed the defer the strike till March 31 but at the same time we knew we were hoping against the hope. We are not going to listen to them further, no further meeting with the management. We have done everything to resolve the issue peacefully but now we are not going to listen to them at all.”

ICPA has said that the management is trying to instigate and antagonise the pilots' union.  Kapoor further said, “It has been 38 days since we serve the notice and the management has shown no concern. Seems like the CMD (Arvind Jadhav) has come with one point agenda. His prime motive is to kill the national carrier and sell it off to private people."

The union first served the strike notice on february 23, but later withdrew it at Vayalar Ravi's behest. The managemnet had sopon formed and an independent experts' panel comprising justice Dharmadhikari, professor R Dholakia and Rajeshwar Dayal.

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. The association claims that there were differences in salaries and working conditions of pilots of Indian Airlines and Air India and that the management has violated the memorandum of settlement signed in November 2009 on implementing the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.



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