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Govt asks sacked Air India crew to apply fresh for job

Govt asks sacked Air India crew to apply fresh for job

Agitating Air India pilots have virtually been shown the door as the government declared that the sacked cockpit crew could return to work only if they applied afresh for a job with the carrier.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh
Agitating Air India pilots have virtually been shown the door as the government declared that the sacked cockpit crew could return to work only if they applied afresh as part of the carrier's hiring process.

"As far as we are concerned, the pilot's strike is over. If the (striking) pilots don't accept Dharmadhikari report which is part of the airline's turnaround plan, I don't think there is any point in their coming back... If terminated pilots want to come back, they will have to apply afresh," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Wednesday.

The minister's comments came on the 30th day of the agitation when the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) members staged silent marches in Delhi and Mumbai to press their demands relating to career progression, apart from reinstatement of their 101 sacked colleagues and restoration of recognition of their union.

Indicating that the sacked pilots could be replaced by new ones, Singh said 90 pilots were currently undergoing training and would be available for flying in August.



"We're making sure we have enough resources - pilots and engineers to operate the new flights we have planned," he said in reply to a spate of questions on the pilots' strike.

"They (pilots) have decided not to come back. They have trashed the Dharmadhikari Report that recommended several steps for integration of the staff of the two erstwhile airlines post their 2007 merger," he said.

"Our stand is that the strike is illegal. The High Court has also said it. They also did not give notice (for the strike)... They are still welcome if they want to come back, but there should be no pre-condition," Singh said.

Observing that Air India would soon advertise for taking more pilots and approach agencies to hire them, the minister said, "It is up to them (striking pilots) whether they want to come back to work....They can always respond to the advertisements of Air India."

Asked whether more pilots would be sacked, he said: "It is up to the management to decide whether they want to extend this action to others also."

Over 200 pilots of the state-run carrier are on strike.

With PTI inputs

Published on: Jun 06, 2012, 2:40 PM IST
Posted by: Gaytri Madhura, Jun 06, 2012, 2:40 PM IST