Talks fail to make headway in Air India pilots` stir

In the last round of talks on March 15, the CLC had asked the Air India management to come up with a proposal on a fixed pay component, which was being demanded by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association.

New Delhi: Talks between agitating Air India
pilots, the management and the labour department failed to
make any headway on Friday, with the Chief Labour Commissioner
(CLC) coming down heavily on the airline officials for not
submitting any proposal on a pay structure despite directions.

In the last round of talks on March 15, the CLC had asked
the Air India management to come up with a proposal on a fixed
pay component, which was being demanded by the Indian
Commercial Pilots Association.

"The meeting could not make any headway as the airline
officials did not come with the proposal on the interim fixed
pay component, as was being demanded by us," ICPA General
Secretary Rishabh Kapur said.

"It reflects the management`s true intentions, that after
almost 50 days of a strike notice, they haven`t made any
headway on our demands," he said.

When CLC NK Prasad sought to know as to why the
management had failed to bring any proposal, Director
(Industrial Relations) Vineeta Bhandari said they could not do
so as the Director (Finance) was indisposed, ICPA leaders
present at the meeting said.

They claimed the CLC also described the management`s
alibi as a "lame excuse" and asked the management to prepare
and submit the proposal in 48 working hours. He directed the
parties to hold the next round of conciliation proceedings on
April 25.

Alleging that the management tried to restrain ICPA office
bearers from attending the meeting, Kapur claimed the
management did not fulfill the legal requirement of giving air
tickets to Central Executive Committee members of the union to
attend the meeting.

"I had come in a Kingfisher flight this morning from
Mumbai to attend the conciliation talks. Other important
leaders could not join," Kapur said.

The ICPA had given strike notice on February 23 demanding
better working conditions and fixed pay component to enable
them bring some stablility to their lives.

The union, which had threatened to go on strike from March
9, had deferred their agitation till March 15 following
tripartite talks with the carrier`s management and the CLC.

Later, the Delhi High Court restrained them from going
on strike from March 16.

Taking note of the situation, Civil Aviation Ministry
constituted a three-member committee to examine the wage
parity issue in Air India.

PTI