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Airport workers' strike to hit airports

The employees, complaining the planned closure of the existing airports in Hyd'bad and B'lore, will go on strike from midnight on Tuesday.
Reuters | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2008 03:08 PM IST

Employees of India's state-run airports will go on strike from midnight on Tuesday, a union leader said, demanding that the government continue to run those airports in addition to new ones under construction.

The strike will hit operations at 127 airports, MK Ghoshal, a leader of the 14,000 striking employees, said.

With new international airports due to open in March in Bangalore and Hyderabad, employees are complaining over the planned closure of the existing airports in the two cities.

They say some staff will lose their jobs, while others will be made to move to other cities. They are also demanding more benefits.

"We are not against privatisation, but we want the old airports to continue to function," said Ghoshal.

"Employees in 127 airports of India will go on a strike and there will be no emergency or safety services to facilitate landings and take-off," he said.

A spokeswoman for the civil aviation ministry said the government will take steps to ensure that passengers do not face any inconvenience.

The employees had postponed a similar strike call in February after the government said it would consider some of the demands.

But talks in the last few weeks failed to break the deadlock.

On Monday, Praful Patel, civil aviation minister, said the government was determined to shut down the old airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore as they lacked proper facilities.

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