Striking Air India pilots on the fifth day of their agitation today took their thus-far closed door protest to the streets by holding a candlelight march at the Gateway of India here this evening.
About 140 pilots of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, now derecognised by the management, participated in the candlelight march and demanded immediate ouster of the Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav alleging that the management's unwillingness to invite them for talks is part of his hidden agenda to shut down the airline and then privatise it.
On the fifth day of the strike today, the airline had to cancel over 90 per cent of its domestic operations as 160 out of 165 management pilots of the domestic carrier are also indirectly partaking in the strike by reporting sick and skipping work.
Meanwhile in the national Capital, opposition BJP slammed the government for not taking measures to end the strike and demanded to know whether this was part of its plan to sell out the national carrier. So far the airline management has been asking pilots to return to work as a pre-condition for talks to resolve their issues, while the pilots have been demanding a solid assurance for a time-bound plan to resolve their grievances.