Delhi airport employees boycott work, threaten indefinite strike

July 29th, 2008 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Airports authority employees union held a demonstration outside the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan here Tuesday afternoon to protest against the alleged changes in their terms of employment and threatened to go on indefinite strike from Aug 20 if their grievances are not redressed. The employees, who boycotted work Tuesday, submitted a memorandum to Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla and Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman K. Ramalingam. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury also participated in the demonstration.

AAI Employees Union general secretary M.K. Ghoshal told IANS that if their demands were not met soon, they would go on indefinite strike from Aug 20.

The employees claim that the government and Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) were pressurising the AAI employees to resign and join DIAL’s rolls.

In order to modernise and restructure Delhi and Mumbai airports, the AAI in 2006 signed an Operation, Management and Development Agreement with DIAL and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) for an initial term of 30 years, which could be extended by another 30 years.

DIAL has denied it was putting any pressure on AAI employees.

“The contract with AAI requires DIAL to make an employment offer to 60 percent of its employees by May 2009, but we extended the offer to all employees in December 2006,” a company spokesperson had earlier said.

Incidentally, only nine percent of the over 2,300 AAI employees working at the Delhi airport have opted for a voluntary scheme to join DIAL.

According to DIAL, AAI employees who joined the new company were given 75 percent salary increase on an average based on a scheme that was offered to all employees in December 2006.

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