Air India on Sunday ruled out any disruption of its operations from April 2, saying there was no threat of strike by any of the registered unions of its employees.
In what has come as a breather to the debt-laden national carrier, the oldest and largest trade union of Air India, Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), came out with a statement ruling out any strike.
In its statement, Air India pointed out that the management met the unions here and explained to them the action taken to clear the dues of salaries and productivity-linked incentives (PLI) including backlog payments in the coming months. “The management also assured the unions that it would clear any backlog of payment till May as soon as the budgetary support is received towards equity infusion from the government.”
The unions a few days ago threatened to go on strike from April 2 as three rounds of talks had failed to resolve the issues of employees, who have not been paid their dues for the past five months. The warning followed the unions' demand for a written commitment from the management that it would clear all dues before April 1, union sources told PTI.
The ACEU, however, said on Sunday, “There is no strike of the ground staff, cabin crew and other categories belonging to our union and neither have we given any strike notice and Air India operations will be as smooth as they are.”
Air India said there had been a “significant improvement” in the load factors, yields and revenues in February and March till date and that it was evident the carrier was “on the road to recovery.”
“The management requested the unions not to resort to any precipitate action in the present circumstances, which might affect revenue and load especially in the coming peak season.”
In its release, the ACEU, while assuring the management that Air India operations would be smooth, rued that workers were “instigated by disgruntled elements” to go on strike every summer season, when the tourist traffic is bound to grow.
“Time and again certain vested interest groups mislead people in general to create confusion among the passengers of AI and resultantly the passengers stop making future bookings and obviously this gives benefits to our rival airlines,” the ACEU said.
It said the management had already issued the schedule of payment for March, April and May.