Director board with Chandy as Chairman set to meet

The controversy over recruitments to the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) company is set to take the centre stage once again with the board of directors headed by the new company Chairman and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy likely to meet in the second week of June.

Mr. Chandy, who was Leader of Opposition then, had in last April, alleged rampant nepotism in the company and said that a large number of appointments were made through the backdoor by violating the recruitment and promotion policy as adopted by the director board. 

He had also said that CIAL had failed to provide jobs for the family members of those who had been evicted for constructing the airport and asked the government to fulfil the promise of employing them in the airport. 

And now, the company shareholders and employees' unions are looking forward to the new Chairman to initiate steps in this regard. 

“Even if the issue does not get addressed immediately, we, on behalf of the minority shareholders, will surely raise this issue with the Chief Minister,'' said Devassikutty Padayattil, an office-bearer of the Shareholders' Organization of Cochin International Airport Limited (SOCIAL). 

According to company sources, this will be one of the issues that take priority over the development projects initiated by CIAL.  The move by the airport company to make fresh appointments last year landed it into a controversy after two of the major employee unions, the CITU-affiliated Cochin International Airport Staff Federation and the INTUC-affiliated Cochin International Airport Staff Association, accused it of deviating from its recruitment and promotion policy and warned of protests. The move had also drawn flak from the CIAL minority shareholders who alleged that the company was already overstaffed. 

However, CIAL, in a statement, sought to counter such allegations and clarified that it had no hidden agenda in the recruitments. To support the company's claim, it said an audit that had been carried out on the recruitments had detected no lapses. 

It also contradicted the claims that the new recruitments would affect the promotion prospects of the existing employees and said internal candidates, if eligible, would be encouraged to apply for a higher post. 

The recruitments were stayed by the court in December 2010 following a petition that argued that the vacancy notification had failed to comply with the recruitment policy of the airport company.  Following a legal battle, the company retained its right to conduct recruitments but put the proceedings on hold, saying that it would be revived only after the new Chief Minister took over as company chairman.

  • Oommen Chandy had alleged nepotism

    in the company

  • CIAL has failed to provide jobs

    to evictees' family members