Hyderabad airport employees go on flash strike

March 21st, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 21 (IANS) Just 24 hours before the launch of commercial operations from the new international airport here, employees of the existing Begumpet airport here Friday went on a flash strike to protest the closure of 76-year-old facility. About 500 employees at the Begumpet airport began the strike Friday evening without any advance notice to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Employees and casual workers struck the work to demand that the Begumpet airport be kept open at least for domestic operations. They gathered outside the terminal building, shouting slogans in support of their demand.

The new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, about 30 km from the city centre, is scheduled to commence commercial operations Sunday. With that, the Begumpet airport will be closed for all civil aviation operations.

The flash strike hit the work at the airport, causing inconvenience to passengers. However, the flights were not affected.

Airport director R.K. Singla said the employees had not given any prior notice for the strike.

This is the second time that existing airport employees have gone on strike to protest its closure.

They had joined the nation-wide strike by AAI employees March 12 to demand that the existing airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore continue operations even after the new airports start functioning.

They called off the strike March 14 after an assurance by the central government that the existing facilities would be used for non-commercial operations.

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