Kingfisher employees on strike, operations not affected

April 21st, 2012 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) A section of Kingfisher Airlines employees Saturday went on a flash strike protesting non-payment of salaries, heaping more trouble on the financially-stressed private carrier.

Operations of the airline, however, were not been affected, airport sources said.

Airport sources told IANS that a small section of engineers and pilots had gone on the agitation path. “One-third of these 200 employees are management pilots and captains and the rest are engineers. No flight has been affected,” said a source.

The employees went on the flash agitation claiming that their salaries had not been paid even after the management had committed to clear the dues.

Earlier April 3, a group of pilots and cabin crew had threatened to go on a strike as they had not been paid for four months.

That time Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya had written to the staff assuring them that their dues would be paid in a phased manner from April 4.

“All junior staff will be paid … April 4. All pilots and engineers will be paid April 9 and 10,” he wrote. “My focus now is to start paying your seriously overdue salaries.”

Mallya had assured his employees that he would be available at all major stations from this week to address the staff concerns.

The letter had stated that the company was in a position to pay the overdue salaries as its bank accounts had been un-frozen following payments worth Rs.44 crore to the income tax department and Rs.20 crore as service tax.

The airline had suspended operations to several cities in the last week of March and asked its staff to stay at home till it managed fresh funding.

The airline’s international operations have been suspended after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) barred the carrier from its inter-airline clearing house and billing and settlement plan accounts due to non-payment of dues.

Kingfisher has a debt of Rs.7,057.08 crore. Its net loss widened to Rs.444.27 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2011 from Rs.253.69 crore in the October-December quarter of the last fiscal.

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