With around 20 flights being cancelled due to the pilot's strike, Air India management on Wednesday moved swiftly to derecognise their union ICPA and declaring their strike illegal.
Around eight flights from Delhi and 11 from Mumbai were cancelled this morning while several others were delayed by more than three hours after a section of Air India pilots, belonging to Indian Commercial Pilot's Association (ICPA), went on strike from midnight.
"We have derecognised the ICPA, the strike is illegal and they have committed contempt of court. We are likely to move the court soon," a senior officer said.
The ICPA offices in Delhi and Mumbai have been sealed on Wednesday morning.
To tide over the crisis, the AI management has decided to rope in 150 management pilots -- executive pilots -- to operate the flights.
The ICPA gave the letter intimating about strike to the CMD last night after their conciliation with the management before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed.
The 800-odd pilots belong to the erstwhile Indian Airlines and owe allegiance to the ICPA.
The merged entity -- Indian Airlines and Air India --has about 1,200 pilots.
The ICPA claims that while the Air India pilots enjoy a big fixed salary component, the same is almost minuscule for the former IA pilots.
The Association claims that while their entire pay package depends on the hours they fly every day, the airlines has been curtailing the number of flights by 30 to 40%.
"The management has appealed to the pilots to restrain themselves and not go in for the irresponsible act, especially when the process of conciliation is on," an Air India spokesperson said.
He said the Government, the civil aviation ministry and all stakeholders are seriously involved in resolving the issue.
The justice Dharmadhikari committee, formed to look into HR related issues of Air India, has started functioning from this Monday and it is expected to submit its recommendations in three months, he said.