In partial relief for troubled Kingfisher Airlines, the engineers, technicians and pilots have called off their 26-day strike and have agreed to join work immediately by accepting the management’s offer of disbursal of three months salary before Diwali.
Following the withdrawal of strike, the company has already paid March salary for the employees.
While most striking employees had earlier agreed to join work, a section of engineers from Delhi had stuck to its demand and had rejected the offer. They were demanding four months salary to be paid instantly as a pre-condition to join duty.
This had forced the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Aggarwal to rush to Delhi on Thursday to pacify and win over the agitated employees. The airline had requested all employees to accept the offer and join duty before October 26.
“Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. is pleased to announce that all of its employees have agreed to resume work and report for duty immediately. All employees are now eagerly looking forward to working together in order to re-starting operations very soon,” Kingfisher Airlines said in a statement.
“We will now finalise and present our resumption plan to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and hope to get their concurrence soon,” the airline added.
Following negotiations at the airline’s engineering base at the Delhi airport on Thursday afternoon, the airline agreed not to take any action on the striking employees and assured that nobody will lose job. The airline has also agreed not to take an undertaking from the employees before joining duty.
“We are satisfied with the assurances and hope the CEO keeps up his words. If we don’t get our salary as promised, we will further intensify the agitation,” said an employee asking not to be identified.
To pacify employees, the airline had, on Wednesday, agreed to pay the October salary for all employees before Christmas. All it means that the employees will get four months salary by Christmas.
The nearly 4,000 employees will now be getting their salary due to the agitation by a handful of 150 engineers and a section of pilots who refused to work, thus grounding the airline’s fleet. The DGCA had recently suspended the airline’s flying permit on safety concerns.
Now the airline will have to augment financial resources to satisfy the DGCA to fly again and try to retire its mounting debt burden of over Rs.7,500 crore from lenders.