Airport employees call off protest

March 13th, 2008 - 11:00 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Airport employees withdrew their two-day-old strike Thursday evening after the civil aviation ministry assured them that the existing Banaglore and Hyderabad airports would not be closed after the new greenfield airports of the two cities start operating. As the government has not made it clear if it would continue commercial operations at the existing Banaglore and Hyderabad airports once new airports start operating, the striking employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said the talks between them and the ministry would continue.

“If the government does not clarify the position by May 31, we would go on strike once again,” said a leader of the Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU).

The AAEU went on what it called non-cooperation stir from Tuesday midnight.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Wednesday said the government was obliged to close down all commercial civil aviation operations at the existing airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad once the new airports are made operational there.

He referred to an agreement signed between the government and the developers of the two airports earlier, which requires all commercial activities at the two existing airports to end when the greenfield projects become operational.

The striking employees had earlier refused to resume their duty for the second consecutive day Thursday across 121 airports in the country.

However, the strike did not have much impact as flight movements at all airports were near normal. The Indira Gandhi International Airport here reported near normalcy on Wednesday and Thursday with most flights operating on time.

Passengers, though, faced harried time. There was a shortage of passenger trolleys for carrying baggage at the arrival terminal here, said a passenger, who reached here from Mumbai early Thursday morning.

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