The Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained Air India employees from continuing with their strike which is causing huge loss to the airline and inconvenience to passengers.

Justice Rajiv Sakdher issued notice to the striking employees union and posted the matter for further hearing on July 13.

The ex-parte order was passed on a petition moved by National Aviation Company of India (NACIL), which runs the national carrier, alleging that the strike by the employees was illegal when the reconciliation process was going on.

The company submitted that the strike was violative of sections 22 and 24 of the Industrial Disputes Act and it has caused 50 per cent loss in its business since Tuesday.

No relief from Bombay High Court

The Air India moved the Bombay High Court on Wednesday seeking a direction restraining its employees from continuing their strike.

However, the vacation bench of the High Court, comprising Justices S.J. Kathawala and R.G. Ketkar, declined to grant relief in the absence of the other party. The court asked the national carrier to give notice to the employees’ union and adjourned the hearing till May 28.

Around 20,000 employees, including engineers, went on a nationwide flash strike yesterday to protest Air India’s gag order - a circular prohibiting union leaders from going public with their demands, according to Union leaders. The demands included issues relating to payment of salaries.

With the striking employees unrelenting on their demand for withdrawal of the gag order and the show cause notices to a few union leaders, the AI management toughened its stand late last night threatening to even terminate services of the employees if they did not call off the stir.

Air India has announced full refund to passengers whose flights were cancelled and made arrangements for hotel accommodation and local transport to those in transit.

The Air India management earlier made an emotional appeal to the employees asking them to return to work at “this hour of crisis” following the crash of one of its planes in Mangalore last Saturday in which 158 lives.

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