Govt to look into Jet spat

Written by fe Bureaus | Agencies | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 26 2009, 08:42am hrs
The government on Tuesday decided to look into the issue of Jet Airways pilots threatening to go on an indefinite strike from September 7 midnight in protest against the sacking of two of their colleagues. The regional labour commissioner (Central Region) will look into the issue, said a government official, according to an agency report.

Jet on Tuesday said it has received a notice for strike from September 7 from the newly formed pilots' union, National Aviator's Guild (NAG), which Jet refuses to recognise.

The union has nearly 700 members who maintain their stance that if the sacked pilots are not re-instated within 14 days, they will strike from September 7.

Earlier this month, Jet Airways had sacked two of its pilots--Captain Sam Thomas and Captain Balaraman--alleging that they were indulging in union activities. The management had sent an email to both pilots saying their services were not required.

Jet in a statement said, "As a responsible corporate body, we assure our guests that appropriate action will be taken to ensure that there is no disruption in our operations, and that no inconvenience is caused to the travelling public."

Meanwhile, as many as 20,000 Air India (AI) employees have gone on a three-day hunger strike (from 9 am to 5 pm during the day) from Tuesday. They are protesting against the delay in release of their salaries. Vivek Rao, regional secretary, ACEU, said: "The AI employees are protesting against the delay in their salary release. Over 10,000 ACEU members from Mumbai are also a part of the country-wide agitation."

The AI employees have threatened that they would again strike on August 31 if their negotiations with the management fail. For the past two months, unions are in talks with the AI management over delay in salaries.

Meanwhile, AI has, in a statement said that the management will disburse the August wages/salaries to its employees on schedule, on the last day of the month, as is the practice.