Air India’s 660 pilots to go on strike after talks over pay parity fail

Air India’s 660 pilots to go on strike after talks over pay parity fail

New Delhi. Air India’s 660 pilots will go an indefinite strike from Wednesday after two months long talks with management and labour commissioner over pay parity failed on Tuesday evening.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which represents 660 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines (now Air India), had served the strike notice under Section 22 of the Industrial Disputes Act to airline CMD Arvind Jadhav in March. The talks have been on since then.

“Talks failed. In-spite of several reminders, the management refused to submit anything to the CLC. We are going on a indefinite strike from today midnight," said ICPA general secretary Rishabh Kapur.

Domestic flights and those to neighbouring regions could be disrupted

The decision was taken late evening after two separate ICPA meetings in Mumbai and Delhi, Kapur said.

Pilots say airline management has “failed" to address their grievances, including pay parity and better working conditions, the union protested the “withdrawal" of flights from profitable routes “to benefit private airlines".

“We have been writing several letters but we have not even heard from CMD Jadhav for a meeting in the last few weeks," Kapur said.

While the ICPA represents around 660 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines, the erstwhile Air India pilots are represented by the Indian Pilots Guild. Kapur said if the airline’s management pilots also join the agitation the number of pilots on strike is likely to go up to 850.