Pilots’ strike will not see another day, rules Delhi High Court

May 2nd, 2011 - 4:56 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has 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.

Meanwhile, ninety per cent of the airline’s domestic fleet will be grounded today. The airline has further curtailed its operations with limited flights till May 6.

The national carrier has also decided to put into use bigger, wide-bodied aircraft, including jumbo jets for the already few domestic flights that it is currently operating.

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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