Kingfisher negotiates with striking employees (Lead)

April 21st, 2012 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) Kingfisher Airlines said it is negotiating with the agitating employees who went on a flash strike Saturday over non-payment of salaries and hopes to resolve the problem soon.

“We are in constant touch and hopeful of resolving the situation soon. Only 200 employees were not paid due to some technical glitch. We are trying to ascertain the reasons and are confident of resolving them soon,” an official of the airline told IANS.

The official said all the agitating employees have their salary accounts with the ICICI Bank and the airline has asked the bank to clear their dues.

“We have asked them (ICICI) to let us know how did the 200 employees not get paid. And if there is a problem from our side we will resolve it,” he said.

Airport sources said despite the flash strike, operations of the airline were not affected.

The employees had gone on a 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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