Pilots strike enters seventh day, ICPA writes to PM

May 3rd, 2011 - 1:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 3 (ANI): With the Air India pilots’ strike entering its seventh day on Tuesday, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the matter immediately.

The missive to Dr. Singh was sent even as Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, said the government will talk to the striking pilots only after they end their agitation and report to work.

The government would wait and abide by the court’s order in the Contempt of Court proceeding initiated on the plea of the Air India management, he added.

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court asked striking Air India pilots to take a decision on resuming their work, warning ‘this strike will not see another day’.

A division bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Beena Birbal, which heard a plea for initiation of contempt proceedings against the striking pilots, said: “You call off the strike, we will press the management to consider your demand. This strike will not see another day.”

The Delhi High Court had earlier directed pilots on strike to go back to work by 5 p.m. last Friday, but over 800 pilots defied court orders.

The three pilots, who are facing contempt charges, include Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) President A S Bhinder and General Secretary Rishabh Kapoor.

Earlier, the airlines management sent an SMS appeal to the striking pilots to come back to the negotiating table.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav in his message said that allegations of corruption levelled by the ICPA would be probed.

The ICPA is demanding a probe into various decisions taken by Jadhav, including a land transfer deal at the Mumbai airport.

Over 800 pilots of the ICPA, who belonged to the Indian Airlines and were employed by Air India after the merger of the two carriers in 2007, have been on an indefinite strike since April 27 demanding pay parity.

The ICPA claims that while Air India pilots enjoy a huge fixed salary component, the same is almost minuscule for former IA pilots in 2007. (ANI)

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