Talk, settle dispute: Court to Air India, striking pilots (Lead)

July 2nd, 2012 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday asked Air India and its striking pilots to amicably settle the matter out of court and gave them a day’s time for this.

The court was hearing a plea of the pilots, whose agitation has been on for 57 days, to reinstate their sacked 101 colleagues and revoke the derecognition of their union - Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG).

Justice Reva Khetrapal gave the two sides a day for settling the issue and posted the matter for Tuesday.

“We would like to see the matter settled. We want to see Air India prosper as the best airline in the world and the airline should adopt a parental attitude,” the court said.

Air India pilots, owing allegiance to the IPG, moved the court saying that they were ready to resume their services, if the Air India adopted a more humane approach and discussed their grievance.

About 440 pilots struck work in May against the Air India management’s move to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines in the merged entity on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing-787 Dreamliner. The training is underway in Singapore.

“Air India has illegally terminated the services of several pilots who are members of IPG, show cause notice has been issued on completely illegal and unfounded grounds to cancel the licences of the pilots. The IPG and its members are suffering because of the colourable exercise of power by the Air India,” said the petition.

“The Air India has created a completely hostile atmosphere there by effectively ensuring that the pilots cannot resume the duties,” it said.

The petition also stated that the May 9 order of the court that restrained the pilots from continuing the strike had been misused by the Air India.

The members of IPG are on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi since June 24.

“Direct the Air India to create a conducive atmosphere so that the members of IPG can resume their duties,” the petition said.

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