Kingfisher staff want four months' pay in lumpsum by Friday
Mumbai/New Delhi: Prolonging the deadlock over payment of salary dues, Kingfisher Airlines employees Wednesday rejected the management's fresh offer and demanded payment of four months' backlog in lumpsum before Friday.
"The chief executive's (Sanjay Aggarwal) claim is grossly incorrect. As a matter of fact, as many as 90 percent of the employees have outrightly rejected the offer. We adhere to our demand for payment of four months' salary by October 26," airline employee Subhash Chandra Mishra, who is spearheading the agitation in Delhi, told PTI.
Rejecting the airline CEO's claim that most of the employees have agreed to resume duty by October 26, he said, "When employees from Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai have rejected the management's offer of staggered payment schedule, how can it claim that most of them have given their consent to join work?"
In response to Aggarwal's mail to all employees offering staggered payment of three months' salary dues, the airline's Delhi-based engineering staff shot off a letter, asking the management to "pay the salary from March 2012 to June 2012 at one go on or before 26/10/12 1800 hrs."
The beleaguered carrier has not been operating flights since September-end following a strike leading to lockout and then having its flying license or Scheduled Operator's Permit suspended by aviation regulator DGCA.
The staffers are on strike seeking payment of seven months' salary dues and have planned protests during the forthcoming Formula One motor race in which Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya is involved.
Mallya would not like to see any disruption by the agitating employees during the Indian Grand Prix at Greater Noida from October 27, with the employees saying that was the reason they were making these offers.
In his mail sent soon after midnight, Aggarwal said, "We have received several requests asking for status of salary for the duration of partial lock-out period and asking for salary in December to be paid a week earlier than December 31, 2012.
"I am pleased to confirm that as a goodwill gesture the company will pay full October salary to all employees and we commit to paying the same prior to Christmas, 2012," he said.
The employees in their response mail, however, told the management, "We are refusing your three months' salary offer procedure because you have lost our faith....Kindly clarify this point that you are crediting the salary for subsequent months i.e. by 10th of every month, without fail."
Acknowledging that around 70-75 percent of the staff have been paid the March salary, the protesters said they hoped the management would "take a positive course of action" to end the impasse.
Meanwhile, sources among the employees accused the management of trying to break the unity among them in a bid to resume flight operations to escape cancellation of license by the DGCA.
"The same management till the other day was saying it does not have funds to pay salaries even for one month and is now ready to pay the salary even for the lock-out period. Where did the funds come from now? This is nothing but a ploy to break the agitation and somehow to resume operations," an employee claimed.
The airline employees have held meetings in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai yesterday and rejected the offer of payment of three months' salaries in a staggered manner before Diwali in mid-November.