As the strike by the Air India pilots entered the seventh day on Tuesday, Union Labour Secretary P.C. Chathurvedi said the conciliatory talks, initiated by the Chief Labour Commissioner N.K. Prasad, would continue.

“We are legally bound to continue our conciliatory efforts and we are hopeful of breaking the deadlock sooner than later,” Mr. Chathurvedi told The Hindu here on Tuesday after Mr. Prasad had another round of talks.

The next round of tripartite talk would be held on Thursday, he said.

Both sides ‘rigid'

Mr. Prasad said the pilots' union and the Air India management remained rigid and took a tough stand throughout the talks.

Sources said the main hitch in breaking the ice was the union's demand for pay parity for the erstwhile pilots of the Indian Airlines who have now been absorbed into Air India with those already serving in the national carrier.

Similarly, the management was also hesitant to consider the demand for reinstatement of the dismissed pilots.

‘No work, no pay' flayed

Sources added that it was not wise for the management to announce “no work, no pay” when conciliatory efforts were still on and it would only aggravate the situation.

Both the parties should deal the situation keeping the interests of the passengers and the company in mind as it had caused much hardship to the passengers besides affecting Air India's economy, which was already in a bad shape, further as the airline was facing huge loss every day due to the strike.

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