More than 6,000 Air India (AI) employees — mostly ground staff — affiliated to the Aviation Industry Employees Guild and other unions proceeded on a nationwide, indefinite strike on Tuesday afternoon.
The flash strike was called to demand an increase in performance-linked incentives and other financial benefits.
The striking employees make up over a third of the total staff strength of AI.
If you fly AI today...
* Expect ticketing, baggage handling troubles if strike continues on Wednesday.
*Air India says it will depute management cadre on operations duty if necessary.
*Flight delays seem inevitable but AI says no flights are likely to be cancelled.*Nevertheless, unless called off by Wed, the strike may paralyse AI operations.
At 1:15 pm, a large number of employees stepped out of the airport shouting slogans against the management.
AI declared the strike illegal and urged employees to resume work even as it sourced manpower from an external agency. “Any union resorting to such measures without giving prior notice would be dealt with appropriately,” an AI statement said.
At the time of going to press, an AI spokesman said no flights had been cancelled but there were likely to be delays. Employees said night flights would be the worst hit.
Unless called off by Wednesday, the strike may paralyse AI operations.
Striking employees said they feared their demands would be overlooked once the merger of Air India and national domestic carrier Indian Airlines occurs.
“The management has failed to implement the new incentives scheme. We are also pressing for payment of arrears,” said George Abraham, general secretary of Aviation Industry Employees Guild.