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Air services to be hit again?

Air services to be hit again?

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 12:50 IST

Air passengers may be again at the receiving end. First there was the strike by AAI employees, which paralyzed air services for four days. Now the Air Corporations Employees Union (ACEU) has threatened to go on strike if their demands on wage revision are not met.

Employees of ACEU (an umbrella body of various unions of national carrier Indian) held a demonstration outside the civil aviation ministry headquarters here and declared they would go on protest from May 1. From that day employees would sport black badges and stage demonstrations. If their demands are still ignored, they have threatened to go on strike from May 8.

And if the unions are to be believed, the strike would not only affect flights of the national carrier, but the spill over will also hit other domestic and international airlines as well. The reason: Indian manages the ground-handling services for several airlines.

ACEU General Secretary Arun Kumar said that on the domestic front, Indian is responsible for the ground handling duties of Kingfisher Airlines. "On the international sector it looks after ground handling for Malaysia Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Tajikistan Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airways, KLM and Ariana Air."

The airline management though asserted that there would be no strike as the unions did not give any formal strike notice and therefore any stir is illegal. A 21-day advance strike notice is a must.

However, the ACEU's general secretary contends that a bulletin issued to all members on April 21 clearly outlined the plan of action and amounts to strike notice. He said the copies were sent to the Indian management, the labour ministry and the civil aviation ministry.

Interestingly, Indian's director, Personnel, Anup K Srivastava wrote a letter to Kumar on April 24 taking note of the bulletin and warning the unions that a strike as threatened would be illegal.