Air India pilots threaten indefinite strike

March 7th, 2012 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 7 (IANS) Upset over non-payment of salaries and other allowances for four months, Air India pilots have again threatened to go on strike from April 1, a union leader said Wednesday.

In a letter to the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) sent Tuesday, the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) said the pilots would not operate flights till their dues were cleared.

“A large number of our members (pilots) have informed us that owing to the psychological stress that they are under and bearing in mind the safety of passengers, they will be unable to operate flights on and after April 1, until the management clears all the dues,” IPG President Jeetendra Awhad said in the letter.

He said the pilots have not been paid salaries and layover allowances from December and flying allowances from November, amounting to nearly a quarter of the total annual emoluments.

Awhad said this had caused tremendous hardships, psychological stress and embarrassment to pilots, many of whom hail from humble economic backgrounds.

“Many have taken loans for their flying training, others have commitments to their parents and children, and many have complained that banks are hounding them to repay their loans,” Awhad said.

While the pilots appreciated that Air India was in financial distress, they did not want to endanger the lives of the passengers.

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