Air India employees warn of indefinite strike from July 1

June 16th, 2009 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Employees of Air India will go on an indefinite strike from July 1 if the management delays their salaries next month, a workers’ union leader said Tuesday.
“We have decided to go on an indefinite strike from July 1 if the Air India management refuses to pay our salaries on time. We are chalking out strategies for our further course of action,” J.B. Kadian, general secretary of the Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU), told IANS.

The decision was taken in a meeting of ACEU, the largest union among the Air India employees, here Tuesday.

National Aviation Co of India Ltd (NACIL), which owns Air India, had Saturday said it would pay the June salaries of its around 31,000 employees two weeks into July due to a cash crunch.

“This has never happened in Air India. We are not going to accept this at any cost. If our salaries are delayed even by a day, we will stop working from July 1,” Kadian said.

He added that the management was trying to put the responsibility of the company’s losses on its employees.

The union has already submitted a memorandum to NACIL chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav, requesting him to roll back the management decision to delay the salaries.

NACIL claims that this was an attempt to overcome the company’s huge losses, which were over Rs.4,000 crore (Rs.40 billion/$8.4 billion) last fiscal. The move also comes when Air India plans to seek Rs.5,000 crore in equity capital, Rs.7,000 crore as a five-year soft loan and a special grant of Rs.2,000 crore.

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