300 Air India pilots go on hunger strike in Mumbai and Delhi
MUMBAI, India - More than 300 Air India pilots went on a 48-hour hunger strike in Mumbai and Delhi on Monday demanding reinstatement of their derecognized union, Indian Pilots Guild (IPG).These pilot
MUMBAI, India – More than 300 Air India pilots went on a 48-hour hunger strike in Mumbai and Delhi on Monday demanding reinstatement of their derecognized union, Indian Pilots Guild (IPG).These pilots would stage the strike for 48 hours in Mumbai and in Delhi.
However, ten pilots are on an indefinite hunger protest till the airline management or the government agrees for a dialogue. Families of many pilots joined them at Azad Maidan. to encourage and garner more support. The pilots on strike are the erstwhile AI pilots who mostly fly long haul international flights.
The pilots have been on a work strike since May 8 against the management’s decision to send erstwhile Indian Airline pilots for training on the Boeing-787 Dreamliner aircraft., which the AI will induct into its fleet shortly. During the agitation, AI derecognized the IPG and sacked more than 100 pilots.
While the deadlock ensued for the 48+t+h day, the pilots took to hunger strike to urge the management to bring the union back and start talks.
“The prerequisite is that the union be functional and recognized again,. Only then can we engage in further talks,” said an IPG member. “The training for the Dreamliner was only an immediate cause. Out career progression had started suffering and hence we had no option but to protest,” he added. Pilots said that due to skewed training allotments and policies, the pilot ratio per aircraft had been distorted. “We were 750 pilots with 39 aircraft to fly. Now we are 750 with only 29 to fly. This is because these aircraft have been shared with the other group (erstwhile IC pilots) who are 850 pilots with 78 aircraft for use,” a senior IPG member said. “We are not against the other pilots, but the management’s decision on Dreamliner training would affect our career progression,” he added. The pilots camped at the Azad Maidan, shunning food and braving the heat even when the minister of civil aviation said that the hunger strike would be “good for their health.”
As per AI estimates, the airline has lost Rs 500 crores in the last 48 hours. as it has been filling only 1,000 seats instead of 4,000 seats per day. Of the 20 Boeing 777, 14 are grounded at Delhi airport due to the strike.