With strike of Air India pilots still going, the air carrier seems to be heading for more trouble as its ground staff is also planning to go on strike. In the meanwhile, the government has asked other airlines not to hike fairs to exploit the situation.
“The management seems to be worsening the situation,” said JB Kadian, general secretary of Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), which has over 20,000 ground staff in its fold.
“They (the management) have already threatened to declare a lockout. Even though they have denied this, such a thing was never heard of earlier,” Kadian was quoted as saying by IANS, adding that ACEU too was now planning to join the pilot’s agitation.
“We are organising our members and apprising them about the situation. The CMD, (chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav) is only worsening the situation,” he said.
Needless to add, following cut in their productivity linked incentives (PLI), a section of Air India pilots went on strike on Saturday in protest.
Air India was forced to cancel its 50 flights on Tuesday, nine of them international, following the strike.
However, Jadhav had told reporters on Tuesday that the cash-strapped national carrier had lost over Rs 84 crore in the first three days of the strike. However, in a statement Monday night, he denied any possibility of a lockout in Air India.
In the meantime, other airlines were asked by the government not to hike their fares to exploit the situation and to accommodate passengers whose flights had been cancelled.
“I have asked them not to hike fares at this time, and also to accommodate those passengers whose flights were cancelled,” Civil Aviation Secretary NM Nambiar told reporters after meeting representatives of various airlines, including Air India chairman Arvind Jadhav