Apologetic Naresh Goyal takes back all sacked Jet employees (Lead)

October 17th, 2008 - 1:49 am ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayMumbai, Oct 17 (IANS) Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal Thursday night profusely apologised for sacking a large number of employees, mainly cabin crew, assured them that their jobs were intact and told them they could report to work from Friday.”I have not been able to sleep all night when I saw what happened. I apologise for what has happened,” Goyal said at a hurriedly called late night press conference.

“I request all of you to start work from tomorrow morning. We will stand by all our employees,” he said.

“I could not see tears in the eyes of my employees, could not sleep when I saw what happened,” an emotion-charged Goyal declared, often repeating himself.

Jet had sacked some 850 employees after its mega alliance with Kingfisher Airlines and had said it could dismiss another 1,100-odd in a cost-cutting move.

All the sacked employees - cabin crew, pilots, ground staff, airport services and management department - were either probationers or had served for less than six months.

The move had led to a massive outcry by the sacked employees in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

A large number of weeping employees in Mumbai had approached Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who sternly asked Jet to take back the employees. Another group had attempted to meet, without success, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

“I am not doing it under any pressure. This is my personal decision,” Goyal told reporters.

“They are like my family. I cannot see them unhappy,” Goyal said, again apologising for the “agony” the employees had gone through.

“The financial woes faced by my company due to poor aviation business led to the termination of these employees,” Goyal maintained.

“I have not spoken to anyone from the management. Cost cutting has to be done but we will stand by our employees. My management might not like it but I have taken the decision from my conscience,” the Jet Airways chief said.

“Help from government is also needed,” Goyal said.

This is a clear indication that while all those who have been sacked will be taken back, it could be at reduced salaries. Still this will be a big relief for those who had lost their jobs and faced the prospect of a dark Diwali.

Goyal also refused to comment on the number of employees who had been sacked, saying whatever the number, all of them would be reinstated.

Kingfisher chief Vijay Mallaya had also hinted he would reduce the airline’s staff strength.

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