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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

AAI staff protest bid to privatise airport

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, October 04, 2013
First Published: 12:05 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:08 IST(4/10/2013)

Employees and officers of Airports Authority of India (AAI) took out a rally protesting privatisation of the Kolkata airport.

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“Around 1,500 people took part in the procession wearing black badges and black caps,” Pradip Sikdar, eastern region convenor of Joint Forum of Unions and Associations said.

Before Thursday’s procession, the members of the joint forum carried out lunch hour demonstration at the airport for the last 10 days. The employees have been wearing black badges since September 9.

“Due to the festive season, there would not be any more protests, demonstrations or processions. We would again start our protests from October 21 by taking out a candlelight procession,” Sikdar said. “From October 22 we would start relay hunger strike,” he added.

The joint forum was set up on June 28 in Kolkata by representatives of 14 unions and officers associations. Trinamool Congress Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy was made the chairman of the forum.

Members of Joint Forum of Unions and Associations of AAI had their first meeting in Delhi on June 11.

They decided to submit a memorandum at first and then go for industrial action (agitation), if the central government initiates and carries on with the process of privatisation of Kolkata and Chennai airports.

“These two airports have to be managed professionally by engaging private partners through the PPP or joint venture route.

The offers in this regard will be invited through an international bid very soon,” the civil aviation minister had said on May 14.


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