Disrupting flight operations across the country, the indefinite strike by the employees of state-owned carrier 'Indian', demanding promotional parity with their Air India counterparts post-merger, intensified on Wednesday, with the cabin crew joining the agitation.
A number of flight services were affected in major metros, barring Delhi, sources said. The affected metros include Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
While about 15 flights scheduled out of Delhi till 0800 hours departed on Wednesday, services were affected in some cities, a senior 'Indian' official said.
Chairman and Managing Director of 'Indian' Viswapathi Trivedi, who arrived from abroad on Tuesday night, held talks with the agitating workers at the airport in New Delhi. But no solution was arrived at.
JK Badola, General Secretary of Air Corporation Employees' Union (ACEU) claimed that 75 per cent of the operations had been affected across the country due to the strike. "Cabin crew across the country has joined the agitation along with about 12,000 ground staff, including check-in employees and loaders, who began their flash strike last night," Badola told PTI.
The ACEU, which is spearheading the strike, had held talks with the management of the airliner a few months ago. Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had then asked the management to work out a solution in this regard.
"We are open to talks. We are ready for settlement. We are urging the management not to be adamant as we cannot put pressure on passengers. But we also have to find a solution to our problems," Badola said.
CPI leader and MP Gurudas Dasgupta alleged that the 'Indian' management has not taken care of the workers' interests. "I support this strike. The management has been rigorously, outrageously anti-worker. They have not taken care of the interest of the workers," Dasgupta claimed.
An estimated 12,000 ground staff of Indian went on a nation-wide flash strike on Tuesday night accusing the management of going back on its assurances to them on their demands for wage arrears and better promotional prospects.