They express regret for taking part in flash strike

Air India has taken back six of the 57 employees dismissed after they went on a cat-call strike for two days from May 25 to press their demands, including timely payment of wages.

The management reinstated the employees, comprising engineers and ground staff, after they gave letters expressing regret for their action without notice, which caused inconvenience to passengers.

The other dismissed employees will be taken back after they give similar letters. The suspension of 27 employees was also revoked by the management.

Communist Party of India MP and All-India Trade Union Congress general-secretary Gurudas Dasgupta, who took the initiative for getting the employees reinstated by meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the management's decision was announced after he held talks with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel here on Friday. Civil Aviation Secretary S.N.A. Zaidi and Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav were present at the meeting.

As for the de-recognition of the Air Corporation Employees Union and the Air India Aircraft Engineers Association for organising the strike, Mr. Dasgupta said he would take up the issue with the management later.

About 25,000 Air India employees went on strike on May 25, three days after an Air India Express plane crashed in Mangalore, killing 158 people. The Delhi High Court declared the strike as “illegal.” Later, it was withdrawn “unconditionally” after a tripartite meeting convened by the then Chief Labour Commissioner, S.K. Mukhopadhyay, with trade unions and the Air India management.

The wage issue apart, the unions were seeking the withdrawal of show-cause notices served on some of their office-bearers.

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