The 58-day-old strike called by Air India pilots is set to end, with members of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) assuring the Delhi high court on Tuesday that they would resume work within 48 hours.
In turn, the airline management agreed to consider the IPG's demand for reinstatement of dismissed pilots and other grievances "sympathetically".The deal to end the longest-ever strike by AI pilots was brokered by justice Reva Khetrapal, who asked both the parties to appear before the conciliation officer (the chief labour commissioner) on Friday to settle all their disputes.
The court was hearing a plea from the pilots, seeking a directive for the reinstatement of 101 dismissed colleagues, including 10 IPG office-bearers.
"The passengers have suffered enough. Now, the strike should end," justice Khetrapal said.
"A serious effort has been made to end the deadlock. Both sides need to cooperate."
The court recorded a statement from Geeta Luthra, lawyer for the IPG, declaring the pilots will join work in 48 hours.
Pilots, whose services were terminated during the strike, would submit reports expressing their willingness to join work, Luthra said.
"The AI management shall sympathetically consider the grievances of the pilots, including the aspect of reinstatement of those who were terminated as a consequence to their strike," the judge said.
The pilots had been up protesting the management's decision to send pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines for training on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, besides other issues relating to career progression.
The IPG moved the court on Monday, contending that they will end the strike if their sacked colleagues were taken back.
However, AI lawyer Lalit Bhasin said it was ready to talk to the pilots only if they called off their strike.
"They were in complete disobedience of the court's orders, and they need to call off the strike before talking to the management about their demands," he added.