From black ribbons to black flags, employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are continuing to offer stiff resistance to the privatisation of Chennai airport.

On Monday, AAI officials from Delhi who visited the airport were welcomed with a black flag demonstration by members of Airports Authority Employees’ Union (AAEU).

“We will strive hard to let the government know that we are absolutely against the privatisation of Chennai airport. We did not allow the officials to hold discussions in this regard and clearly told them that we will not entertain any briefing on this issue,” said L. George, regional secretary of AAEU.

Four members of AAI from New Delhi had arrived at Chennai airport on Monday to brief the employees about the terms and conditions of the privatisation and also assure them their jobs would be secure, said an AAI official.

“The officials said they will convey the sentiments of the employees here to the headquarters. They wanted to tell the AAI staff here that all of them would be incorporated when a private party takes over and that their jobs will be safe,” he said.

On Tuesday morning, nine private parties interested in the bidding process willvisit the Chennai airport. “They include the popular parties like GMR, GVK and Frankfurt airport operator Fraport. Before the bidding process, they want to take a look at the airport,” he added.

Mr. George said their protest would continue on Tuesday and they would not let the private parties visit the terminals of the airport. “We are taking steps to approach the Chief Minister in this issue and seek her help at the earliest,” he added.

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