Hold talks daily, court tells Air India, pilots (Lead)

July 9th, 2012 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday told the Air India management and a section of pilots, who recently called off their strike, to hold conciliation talks daily before the deputy labour commissioner till the dispute between them was resolved.

The court also sought a final report from the conciliation officer on the issue by July 13, the next date of hearing.

“It is directed that conciliation proceedings will take place on day-to-day basis till the matter is resolved. Let both the parties meet tomorrow (July 10) at 10 a.m. and on daily basis till the next date of hearing, July 13,” said Justice Reva Khetrapal.

The court said that the management may consider the reinstatement of pilots terminated from service “sympathetically and expeditiously”.

The court’s direction came after senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for pilots, informed the court that in their talks with the conciliation officer deputy, and other officials, the Air India management expressed its “inability” to make any commitment on reinstatement of pilots or addressing issues raised by the pilots.

Justice Khetrapal expressed her displeasure on the stiff behaviour adopted by the management. “You (Air India) are also adopting stiff behaviour.”

Advocate Lalit Bhasin, appearing for Air India, told the court that in the conciliation meeting the management sought 10 days to look into the charter of demand or the grievances of the pilots.

“About 101 (sacked) pilots, we are going to constitute a body which will look into their previous records and we will sympathetically look into the matter,” said Bhasin.

Bhasin informed the court that the pilots had filed a case in the Bombay High Court related to the reinstatement of pilots and recognisation of their union - Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) - and that matter was likely to come up for hearing July 12.

Justice Khetrapal asked pilots and the management to inform the Bombay High Court that the strike had been called off by the pilots and negotiations were going on.

The court told the management to ensure that salaries were paid to pilots, at least upto some extent, after the pilots brought to the court’s notice that they had not been paid from the last five-six months.

The deputy labour commissioner submitted the interim report of the meeting held between both the parties before the conciliation officer July 6.

The pilots having allegiance to the IPG called off their 58-day-old stir after the Air India management July 3 assured the high court that it would “sympathetically” consider their grievances, including the reinstatement of the 101 sacked pilots.

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