Amid the controversy surrounding liquor baron Vijay Mallya, employees of his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a ‘humanitarian’ appeal, seeking his intervention in safeguarding their interest.
Highlighting their humanitarian plight as they have not been paid their dues including salaries and statutory dues like Provident Fund and Gratuity, the employees said they are also being hounded by Income Tax notices although the tax default is the airline.
“Our present laws which were supposed to protect the employee’s interest have become redundant and are failing to solve the purpose that they were meant to serve. The best example would be that some of our colleagues who could afford legal fees went to courts and were awarded decrees in their favour even after which it did not translate into actual dues, thereby making a mockery of our justice system. Others are still fighting for their dues in the winding up petitions in the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court,” the letter said.
Asserting that there were about 7000 direct as well as indirect employees who were affected by the closure of Kingfisher Airlines, the employees in the letter said that majority of them cannot even afford to fight it out in the courts.
They said heir attempt to appeal on humanitarian grounds was even opposed by the councils of various parties, including banks.
The employees go ahead to say that they have lost all hopes as he legal system has failed them miserably and as a result ‘the common, law abiding citizens are suffering and bearing the brunt of it’.
“On behalf of all the employees of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines we request you for your immediate intervention in the matter helping us recover our hard earned dues,” the letter said.
Appealing to the government if it can pay the dues of the employees ‘Ex Gratia’ and recover from the company and the management of KFA along with the dues of the banks, the employees stated that there have been instances in the past where the government has paid the employees be it in the times of sugar cane mills or cotton industries.
“Sir the govt has enough avenues to recover the dues and can afford the unfortunate delay that it would take now. But the employees cannot bear any further delays. The whole world seems to have forgotten about us and misplaced its priorities in larger scheme of thoughts when it comes to banks and others,” the letter said.
In conclusion, the employee’s reiterated their plea for a government intervention to secure their rightful and legitimate dues at the earliest as “justice delayed would be justice denied”.