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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Aviation

No witch hunt in reinstatement of AI pilots: airline
Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 26, 2012
First Published: 21:22 IST(26/8/2012)
Last Updated: 21:58 IST(26/8/2012)

The decision to reject the re-instatement cases of five sacked Air India (AI) pilots, who had led the 58-day strike earlier this year, was purely based on merit and there was no witch hunt, top airline officials have said.

As reported by HT on Sunday, AI has decided not to take back five sacked pilot union leaders who had led the agitation that paralysed the airline’s international operations during the peak summer season.

Slamming the door on the five leaders, a three-member committee that had been formed to consider representations of the terminated pilots has found them guilty of “incitement and repetitive disruption”.

The committee has cleared the re-instatement cases of 50 pilots so far while the fate of 45 others would be decided soon.

AI pilots had struck work beginning May 7 as they were unhappy with the decision to allow erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots train on the Dreamliner aircraft. The strike, which led to a loss of Rs. 600 crore, has been termed “illegal” by the government and the airline sacked 100 pilots.

The five whose cases have been rejected were all part of the managing committee of the Indian Pilots Guild — an association of AI pilots — which led the agitation. “There is no witch-hunt. The decision is purely based on merit,” an official said.

Pilots, however, are furious. “We had returned back on the promise that all of us would be taken back and there would no discrimination. We feel betrayed. We will approach the court,” said a pilot.

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