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Jet staff, Sena union protest at T2, seek govt intervention

Jet halted all flight operations indefinitely on April 17 after failing to secure emergency funds from its lenders. Around 20,000 employees have not been paid salaries since December 2018.

mumbai Updated: May 09, 2019 02:47 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Mumbai
Sena union,Jet staff,govt intervention
Jet employees protest at T2 on Wednesday.(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT)

Employees of Jet Airways — in association with the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena (BKS), the trade union wing of the Shiv Sena — protested at terminal 2 (T2) of the international airport on Wednesday, seeking government intervention in solving the crisis the beleaguered airline has been facing.

Jet halted all flight operations indefinitely on April 17 after failing to secure emergency funds from its lenders. Around 20,000 employees have not been paid salaries since December 2018.

Jet staff members, including cabin crew, engineering staff and ground staff, were part of the protest held at level 4 of T2 from 10am to 12pm.

The BKS appealed to the government to force the State Bank of India (SBI) to help the debt-laden airline as they had assured to lend money after former Jet chief Naresh Goyal stepped down, but did not do so. BKS said they are hopeful about good bidding results on May 10.

“We want Jet to give out all the pending salaries. If the bidding process doesn’t yield positive results, we’ll make this a huge protest and will close Mumbai airport if needed,” said Santosh Chalke, general secretary, BKS.

“This is a silent protest to convey our message to the government. We have people dependent on us. We have not got our salary for three to four months,” said Sandip Kumar Dubey, a Jet employee.

On Tuesday, Jet pilots had approached the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the SBI to provide the assured interim finance of ₹15 billion to restart operations. The National Aviator’s Guild had said in its petition that the SBI’s decision to not give the interim funding has resulted in the airline’s grounding and impacted 22,000 employees.

MARCH DOMESTIC TRAFFIC DOWN

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 290 airlines (around 82% of the global air traffic), stated India’s domestic traffic rose by 3.1% in March, down from February’s growth rate of 8.3% and well off the five-year average growth pace of close to 20% every month.

IATA said the slowdown reflects reduction in flight operations of Jet as well as disruptions at Mumbai airport owing to construction.

First Published: May 09, 2019 02:47 IST