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    Default Air India unions renew strike threat

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    Spelling fresh trouble for crisis-ridden Air India , eight unions representing a large chunk of the over 28,000 staff, on Wednesday threatened to go on strike from Monday to protest delay in salary payments and sought Prime Minister's immediate intervention to resolve the situation.

    As the management called the agitating employees for talks on Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh tried to soothe ruffled feathers of the protesters saying the government has "stood by them" before and would continue to do so.

    The eight major unions, representing a cross-section of staffers ranging from pilots, engineers to ground staff, wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying they would implement 'No pay no work' policy from April 2 as the management was "withholding" their "legitimate wages".

    Reacting to the threat, the Civil Aviation Minister said "let's hope they will realise that the government is doing all it can. The government has already intervened."

    "The Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) has been cleared by the Group of Ministers. A (cabinet) note has been moved.

    The Prime Minister was away for 2-3 days. So CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) has to be convened," Singh said, adding even the employees realise that "they are better off than employees of other airlines".

    The agitators have alleged that they have not been paid salaries and allowances for over past three months.

    "We will no longer be able to bear this agony which has been thrust upon us for no fault of ours. Therefore, we reiterate that if the management continues to withhold our legitimate wages, we will not be able to discharge our duties from April 2.

    "We appeal to you for your kind and urgent intervention to resolve the situation," the unions said in a joint memorandum to Manmohan Singh.

 

 

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