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Common aviation sector union soon

Over 60,000 employees from various aviation-related sectors will unite, writes Chanchal Pal Chauhan.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 01:01 IST

In the wake of strong winds of privatisation and mergers blowing across the aviation industry, coming is a common union made up of 20 employees’ bodies across all airlines, airports and category of workers, from engineers, pilots, ground staff to contractual workers.

To be formed under the banner of Federation of Civil Aviation Employees, it will be the biggest coalition of workers in the aviation sector with employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Air India, Jet Airways, Air Deccan, Cambata Aviation, among others.

Over 60,000 employees from the various aviation-related sectors are expected to unite and come under the banner.

The move comes after lessons learnt from recent events. AAI employees could not muster enough strength for the strike to protest against the proposed privatisation of the Mumbai and Delhi Airports.

The Federation of Civil Aviation Employees is like to take off by the first week of March.

Hectic discussions are on among a dozen unions to frame the agenda. However, the communication wing of the airports, including the air traffic controllers, will be kept out the new union.

“We expect to face the eventualities of the aviation boom together. The interests are common and so are our problems. We will have the united force to withstand the pressures of the ministry and private players,” said a union leader who preferred to remain anonymous.

Nitin Jadhav, joint general secretary of AAI Joint Employees Forum, is spearheading the move. “There is a gradual shift towards the contractual nature of work with lesser perks. Moreover uncertainty looms large over career prospects. The working class is increasingly being subjected to exploitation by owners and even the government is resorting to the same.”

“We are forced to take such safeguards, as most public sector undertakings, including profit-making ones like the AAI, are being sold. We hope to fight this and other future problems by forging a complete united front,” the AAI Joint Employees Forum joint general secretary said.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 01:01 IST