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Airport strike called off, finally

STRIKING AIRPORT employees, protesting against the modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports through private participation, returned to work on Saturday. This was seemingly after the government, the Left parties and the striking Airport unions, got a satisfying face-saving formula.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 14:11 IST

STRIKING AIRPORT employees, protesting against the modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports through private participation, returned to work on Saturday. This was seemingly after the government, the Left parties and the striking Airport unions, got a satisfying face-saving formula.

The strike had not been called off on Friday after the Left and union leaders met the PM and the civil aviation minister. Asserting that the decision to modernise the airports would not be reversed, the PM had appealed for the strike to be called off.

The government’s position did not change much on Saturday. The only concession the unions got was Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel's written assurance that a tripartite committee would be set up of ministry representatives, the Airport Authority of India and the Joint Forum of AAI employees' unions to look into the modernising issue and also the employees’ job security.

“It is reiterated there will be no victimisation (of employees on strike),” he said. “In view of the assurances given by the government, I, as convenor, call off the strike”, M K Ghoshal, forum convener, announced at a gathering of striking workers in front of the Delhi airport.

He and other leaders directed the agitating workers across the country to join duty according to their roster shifts with immediate effect. The leaders had yesterday met Prime Minister who appealed to the employees to return to work in the national interest.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 14:11 IST