NEW DELHI, April 27 � The Delhi High Court today directed over 800 Air India pilots to call off their agitation for better pay hike even as the airline management sacked six leaders of agitating pilots and derecognised their union, reports PTI.
As the High Court asked the pilots to resume work in larger public interest, government backed Air India�s action against the protestors.
At least 37 flights were cancelled during the day, causing hardship to passengers, many of whom were accommodated by other airlines. These included several on the Delhi-Mumbai sector and those to Kathmandu, Bangkok, Raipur, Aurangabad, Srinagar, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Leh.
Following an urgent hearing of AI management�s plea against the strike, Justice Gita Mittal of Delhi High Court barred the pilots from resorting to any kind of demonstration and directed them to report for work.
Soon after the order, the leaders of Indian Commercial Pilots Association went into a huddle seeking legal opinion, with a senior leader saying �we will take a decision after our consultations are complete�.
The services of ICPA leaders, including its president Capt A S Bhinder and general secretary Capt Rishabh Kapur, were terminated by the management, senior airline officials said. Two other agitating pilots were suspended.
The management derecognised the ICPA and sealed its offices, including those in Delhi and Mumbai.
Addressing a press conference, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said AI�s action against striking leaders was �right� and asserted that ICPA�s demands cannot be accepted.
�Nobody can dictate terms to government, especially a few pilots. They are the highest paid people in this country and ... What they do is to try to threaten the government and dictate the Air India,� the minister said, while appealing to the striking pilots and other employees to cooperate and help the airline come out of its crisis.
Meanwhile, the three-member Justice Dharmadhikari Committee, set up last month to go into the HR-related issues following the merger of the two state-run carriers, met today and decided to take the views of all Air India employees and their unions on their problems.
The committee, which started functioning only on Monday, would hold its next meeting by the mid-May as it has four months to submit its report to the Civil Aviation Ministry. It would examine issues like integration across various cadres of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines and determine seniority and the principles of pay parity between all the employees. � PTI