Air India employees warn of strike if salaries delayed

June 15th, 2009 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Employees of flag carrier Air India Monday threatened to go on strike if the management delays their salaries next month.
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,” J.B. Kadian, general secretary of the Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU), told IANS.

ACEU is the largest union among the Air India employees.

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

“They are trying to manipulate us. Everything will be stopped on the ground at the airport if the salaries delayed,” said Kadian.

The union has also sought explanation from the management about its decision to delay the salaries.

“We as employees have the right to seek explanation from the Air India management,” a pilot with Air India, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

However, NACIL said 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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