Days after a two-day strike which led to the sacking of 58 employees and de-recognition of two major unions, Air India top brass on Tuesday met representatives of other unions and briefed them on the circumstances that forced them to take such stern action.
Air India officials also briefed the union leaders about the Mangalore air crash which claimed 158 lives and the steps taken thereafter, including mitigating the suffering of the next of kin of those who died, airline sources said.
The management said it planned to come out with a turnaround within this month and would hold another round of meeting with the unions, which would also be attended by the newly-appointed independent directors of the Board.
The airline has appointed four independent directors to its Board -- Ambuja Cement Chairman Harsh Neotia, FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra, former chief of Air Staff Fali Homi Major and Mahindra Group Vice Chairman Anand Mahindra.
While the management was represented at Tuesday's meeting by CMD Arvind Jadhav and all the functional directors, union leaders representing officers, pilots, cabin crew and engineers of the erstwhile Air India, attended the meeting.
Talks with the unions of the former Indian Airlines would be held later in the day.
The union representatives demanded reinstatement of the sacked and suspended employees, most of whom were leaders of now-derecognised Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) and All India Aircraft Engineers Association (AIAEA).
They also sought withdrawal of the de-recognition orders against the two unions which led the flash strike, disrupting flight operations four days after the Mangalore air disaster.
The 33-hour strike had resulted in the cancellation of 130 flights leading to a revenue loss of Rs 12 crore.
However, sources said the management did not respond to the unions? suggestion that a process of reconciliation, instead of conflict, should be pursued.
The meeting came a day after Air India?s Strategy Committee discussed the airline's business plan for 2010-11.
The national carrier, which received Rs 800 crore from the government in 2009-10, is expected to get another Rs 1,200 crore as equity infusion this financial year.
As part of its cost-cutting and restructuring plans, Air India Board had recently set up four committees -- audit, finance, strategy and human resources -- to provide inputs to the management through which progress of the turnaround plan could be monitored.