As the agitation by some Air India pilots entered the fourth day, the government today talked tough, asking them to resume duty from tomorrow failing which the management of the airlines would take "necessary" action but the pilots refused to relent.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel insisted that the decision on Productivity-Linked Incentive (PLI) had not been implemented as yet and hence the pilots had "no reason to be aggrieved". Hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took stock of the situation arising out of the agitation, Patel said the decision on PLI cut would be implemented only after discussions with the pilots. Describing the "strike" by the executive pilots as a "matter of concern", the minister asked them "see reason" and "cooperate".
"I hope the entire airline (AI) will come back to full operation from tomorrow, failing which the management will be free to take any decision that it feels is necessary," he said.
His warning came as 20 more executive pilots joined the stir taking the number of those reporting "sick" to 200. The protest led to cancellation of over 230 flights over the last four days, with 80 being cancelled only today.