‘Strike won’t hit flight schedules’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Strike won’t hit flight schedules’

Airlines services will not be affected if the employees’ unions go ahead with their strike call from midnight on December 31, said officials.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2008 00:21 IST
Barney Henderson

Airlines services will not be affected if the employees’ unions go ahead with their strike call from midnight on December 31, said officials.

The Aviation Industry Employees’ Guild and Air Corporation Employees’ Union said there would be an indefinite strike from December 31 midnight.

On Monday, the Bombay High Court refused a petition of the employees’ unions to grant a stay on the Civil Aviation Ministry’s plans to replace the 43 ground-handling agencies with a joint venture with three foreign firms. The new ground-handling policy will come into effect on December 31 and 50,000 ground-handling staff might lose their jobs.

“I can ensure that no passenger or flight will be affected,” said Jitendra Bhargava, Air India spokesperson. Air India, however, did not say whether they have taken precaution if the unions went ahead with their strike.

A spokesperson for the Mumbai International Airport said: “Come what may, services will not be affected.”

The unions insisted that strikes would go ahead unless the government reversed the decision. “All unions will go on strike on December 31,” said Vivek Rao, general secretary of the Air Corporation Employees’ Union. “We do not want any form of joint venture to manage ground handling. We have been doing it for 60 years and have the infrastructure and skilled workforce to cope. Flights will be grounded because of the strike and it will be indefinite.”