Air India staff plans nationwide stir to protest salary delay

June 17th, 2009 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Air India employees will stage demonstrations at airports across the country June 19 and sport black badges for three days to protest the company’s decision to delay their salaries, a labour union official said Wednesday.
“We will organise a daylong meeting across airports on June 19 and will wear black badges for three days starting June 22,” said Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU) general secretary J.B. Kadian.

“We will go on dharna (protest sit-in) from June 30 for an indefinite period if we don’t get salaries on that day,” Kadian told IANS.

ACEU is the largest trade union of Air India employees with over 22,000 members. National Aviation Co of India Ltd (NACIL), which owns Air India, has about 31,000 employees.

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

NACIL issued a notice Saturday that the salaries for June would be paid mid-July as the company faced a cash crunch.

It 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.

Air India plans to raise 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.

Thanks to the global meltdown, the aviation sector is facing an acute financial crisis, with many carriers retrenching workers.

Recently, British Airways emailed a request to more than 30,000 workers in Britain to work without salary for one month.

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