Contract workers at airport face the axe

Threat for over 900 workers

Retrenchment fears are looming large over 900-plus contract workers employed by the Air India SATS Airports Services Pvt Ltd. (AISATS) for the ground-handling services of most of the airlines operating from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

AISATS is a joint venture between national carrier Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS).

The AISATS management is eyeing those with two years to 10 years service. Already over 50 contract workers whose passes had expired were shown the door citing pandemic-induced crisis faced by the aviation sector, airport sources said.

Identity cards

The contract workers would need identity cards issued by the Airport Director to enter the facility where they were deputed for ground-handling, customer service, ramp, cargo, and cleaning works.

Their applications for the passes would usually be forwarded by the AISATS management to the Airport Director after the mandatory clearance was obtained from the police station where the workers reside.

But now, the AISATS management had stopped forwarding applications for renewal of the passes, sources said. The aim seemed to be to phase out all the contract workers.

“The aim of the AISATS is to bring in a new lot of contract workers for ground-handling. There were allegations that a hefty sum was taken last time from those who applied for the jobs and it is said that those who pay up will be offered jobs this time too,” sources said.

The move to retrench the contract workers come at a time when dozens of flights are arriving daily with the stranded Non Resident Keralites (NoRKs). The AISATS takes care of the ground-handling of several airlines, including Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait Airways, Air Arabia, Gulf Air, Air Lanka, Spicejet, Air India, and Air India Express. The joint action committee of various trade unions representing the contract workers launched an agitation from Monday.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 3:16:06 AM |

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