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Airport services back to normal

AAI employees have reported to work after 4-day strike against privatisation.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 17:39 IST
Nandini R. Iyer
Nandini R. Iyer

Things at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were back to normal at the end of the four-day strike by airport employees protesting the privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports.

"Situation has returned to normal. Employees have reported to work as usual," said the Airport Manager on duty.

Passenger amenities inside and around the airport were severely hit with the entire ground staff boycotting their work. Flight operations, however, were not affected.

"Everything is clean and smooth. Trolleys are in place and toilets are clean," said Padmanabhan, a businessman who arrived from Mumbai.

Employees had resumed their work shortly after the strike was called off on Saturday following an assurance from the Government on job security.

However, certain employees are still not sure about the settlement and many are still worried about their future.

"I am working here for the last 30 years. I don't know what is going to happen after privatisation. They say they will retain 60 per cent of us. We don't have any pension. Since the leaders have called off the strike we resumed duty," said an employee in the medical unit of the IGI airport.

Mumbai Airport

Passenger services at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport too were back to normal with airport employees resuming work.

"The night duty staff cleaned the entire airport in a five-hour marathon exercise. The floors are clean, the conveyer belts are functioning and the aerobridges are back in action", said Nitin Jadhav, Joint General Secretary of Airports Authority Employees' Union.

Normalcy has been restored in services in non-core areas such as housekeeping, fire fighting, maintenance, aerobridges and conveyer belts, he added.

The main entrance to the airport was littered with newspapers, polythene bags and wore a dirty look during the strike. However, the area has been cleaned up and all the garbage lying there has been removed.

Kolkata Airport

Amenities at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport were back on the rails.

Passengers no longer had to contend with stinking toilets, non-functioning aero-bridges and still conveyor belts as the airport complex returned to its spic and span look.

All staff, irrespective of their designations, pitched in to help in the cleaning up operations. Outside hands were also hired to assist in the job, union sources said.

However, some of the union members, on conditions of anonymity, expressed displeasure at the agreement signed with the Government withdrawing the agitation to protest against the privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports.

"Had the privatisation been stopped totally, then we would have been very happy. However, we are glad about the assurance of job security for the employees," they said.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 00:47 IST