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AAI unions hint strike call-off

THE PRIME Minister's appeal notwithstanding, AAI unions continued their strike on Day Three but with a hint that it may be called off on Saturday morning after an inter-union meeting.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 12:42 IST

THE PRIME Minister's appeal notwithstanding, AAI unions continued their strike on Day Three but with a hint that it may be called off on Saturday morning after an inter-union meeting.

The convener of the AAI Employees' Joint Forum, M.K. Ghosal, told reporters after a meeting with the representatives of various unions that the decision on whether or not to continue with the strike would be taken after another meeting on Saturday.

Is strike about to end?

Yes, no, maybe. After meeting the prime minister on Friday, the unions said they would take a decision on whether or not to continue with the strike after another meeting on Saturday morning

Reason to hope

Government has "assured" Left leaders the private firms taking over the two airports have agreed to keep 75 per cent of existing staff — against 60 per cent indicated earlier

Was day 3 better than days 1, 2 for passengers?

Yes. In Delhi, passengers could drive up to the airport for a change. Though trolleys were difficult to locate, it was business as usual inside airport as flights took off almost on time

Should you be flying?

The advisory remains the same as before: Do so if you must. Travel light till the strike ends. Be prepared to lug baggage

On Friday, following a 90-minute meeting of the unions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the PM had made it clear that the government would not reverse its decision to modernise the Mumbai and Delhi airports through joint-venture participation.

The PM, he said, had reassured the unions and the Left leaders who backed them that "no employee will lose their jobs".

"The PM has personally appealed to the unions that they should call off the strike," said Patel. "He has reiterated that the AAI is not being privatised."

In addition to the assurances from the two successful bidders -- the GMR-Fraport and GVK-South Africa consortiums -- Patel said "we'll try and speak to them to absorb even more employees".

He repeated his earlier statement that the two consortiums had undertaken to absorb 60 per cent employees,

First Published: Feb 04, 2006 12:42 IST