A section of employees of Air India, including engineers, today went on a flash strike to protest delay in payment of salaries and problems relating to the working conditions of cabin crew, union leaders said.

There has been no impact of their “walkout” on flight operations, an Air India spokesperson said.

“We have begun a flash strike on delay in payment of salaries and the problems of the cabin crew, after the management refused to pay heed to our demands,” Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) General Secretary J.B. Kadian told PTI here.

Air India had recently decided that the May salaries would be delayed by a week.

He said the management has also issued “gag orders” against leaders of all unions of Air India by asking them not to go public with their problems and termed the move as “anti-democratic”.

The ACEU claims representation of 12,000 members of the erstwhile Indian Airlines including ground-handling and technical staff and cabin crew.

The union had served a strike notice on the management and the Chief Labour Commissioner on May 15 against Air India’s decision to defer salary payments. However that notice had called for a strike from May 31.

However, unions belonging to the international wing of Air India have not gone on strike on this issue so far.

ACEU is part of the Civil Aviation Joint Action Front (CAJAF), a joint platform of 11 recognised trade unions in National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL).

However, CAJAF spokesperson V.J. Deka told PTI that other unions had not taken any decision to strike work but “we are sympathetic to the ACEU cause”.

“We also condemn the gag order issued by the management against leaders of the unions,” he said.

The CAJAF has been demanding implementation of the recommendations of two Parliamentary Committees, which includes creation of two separate domestic and international airlines under a single holding company, the NACIL. The panels are the Parliamentary Committees on Public Undertakings and Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

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