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Air India pilots end 58-day-old strike

The strike by Air India pilots was called off on Tuesday after the Delhi High Court asked them to join duty within 48 hours and the management to sympathetically consider their grievances.

twitter-logoPTI | July 4, 2012 | Updated 11:08 IST

The 58-day protracted strike by Air India pilots was called off on Tuesday after the Delhi High Court asked them to join duty within 48 hours and the management to sympathetically consider their grievances.

The decision to end the strike was announced by the  Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) after a meeting of its managing committee in Mumbai.

"We the pilots of Air India and members of the Indian Pilots Guild, on the intervention of Justice Reva Khetrapal of the Delhi High Court have started the procedure to resume work," an IPG statement issued after the meeting said.

It said that as directed by the High Court, the IPG looked forward to negotiations with the AI management on all pending issues in the presence of the Chief Labour Commissioner.

"We sincerely hope that the AI management and the Civil Aviation Ministry will be as sincere on their part. On this understanding, we are commencing the process of restoring normalcy of operations," said IPG General Secretary E A Kapadia.

The IPG statement came after its counsel, Geeta Luthra, told the high court that the striking pilots numbering 434 will join their duties in 48 hours.

During the two-hour-long court proceedings, the judge said the pilots are not "goondas or criminal elements. You consider their grievances after talking to them."

"The senior counsel (Luthra) appearing for the pilots has said that her clients will immediately call off the strike and join their duties in 48 hours, by giving joining reports or the report expressing their willingness to join the duty.

"The AI management shall sympathetically consider the grievances of the pilots including the aspect of reinstatement of those pilots whose services were terminated as a consequence to their strike," Justice Khetrapal said while disposing of the pilots' plea for a direction to the AI management to take back the 101 sacked pilots, including 10 IPG office bearers.

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