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Airport staff threaten stir

A FLASH strike by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees seems imminent with the Civil Aviation Ministry confirming that the financial bids for the modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports would be opened on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 01:28 IST

A FLASH strike by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees seems imminent with the Civil Aviation Ministry confirming that the financial bids for the modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports would be opened on Tuesday.

In their meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Monday, the employees' unions -- represented by the AAI Employees' Joint Forum -- made it clear that if the bids are opened, they will have no choice but to resort to "industrial action". Union members said their plan of action would be decided late on Monday night.

After meeting the minister, forum convenor M.K. Ghosal said both sides "agreed to disagree". He said: "We don't want to do anything that will inconvenience passengers but the government has not given us any satisfactory reply on our alternate proposal (to raise money from the market)." He added, “There could be a massive industrial action, including by AAI officers, for which the government will be responsible.” The forum delegation, which included CPM MP Dipankar Mukherjee, argued that the ministry had not taken up its offer of having independent experts to review their alternate plan.

The minister is believed to have said that since no final decision had been taken, the suppositions of the forum were unwarranted.

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 01:28 IST