Millennium Post

Striking AI pilots move court over dues

A section of striking Air India pilots Tuesday said they have moved the Delhi High Court against the non-payment of their salaries for March.

'Our strike started on 8 May. We have worked in March and April, then why have our March salaries been stopped. We moved against this in the Delhi High Court [on Monday],' Rohit Kapahi, committee member of Indian Pilots' Guild [IPG], said.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday.

The airline paid March's basic salary to its employees in May-end and January's production linked incentive [PLI] on 8 June, after it received Rs 1,200 crore out of budgetary allocation for fiscal 2012-13.

Airline officials refused to comment on the issue. But sources in the airline claimed that the non-payment of salaries was on account of disciplinary action.

The development comes a day after the airline mulled the option of sacking 300 more striking pilots. Air India has already sacked 101 pilots. It has also advertised for hiring new pilots.

The 36-day-long strike has severely hit Air India's international operations, with the airline only operating 38 out of its 45 services. Among the seven axed international destinations are Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto.

'Our losses on account of grounded fleet and unused manpower remains within the Rs 5-6 crore per day range. Operations to northeast Asia have been hit badly, so have the services to the US and Europe,' an Air India official said.

Representing aviators of the Air India, the IPG went on strike on 8 May against the move to train their counterparts from the erstwhile Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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