20,000 Air India employees decided to go on a nationwide mass walkout

Unions led by the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), representing over 20,000 Air India employees, have decided to go on a nationwide mass walkout of its members tomorrow between 1pm and 3 pm across the country to protest against the management backing out of its commitment to pay salaries to lower grade employees (about 13,000 of them) on July 3.

even as the ACEU claimed there would be disruption of flights during that time, the A-I management made it clear they had not backed out on their commitments and had told unions they would pay the salaries by July 3 or 4.

"The advice to the banks will go today and, after that, it might take one or two days. So there is no question of any ’going back’," Executive Director Jitendra Bhargava said. He added that there would be no impact on flights either.

However, ACEU President Dinkar Shetty had a different version. "The ECS (electronic clearance system -which is used for bank payments) process has not even begun. Once it does, it takes at least three days for the pay to reach an employee’s account. The management, under Chairman Arvind Jadhav, cannot be trusted."

Shetty also said their union will not go in for a meeting with the Turnaround Committee set up between unions and the management slated to be held tomorrow.

The Air India management had earlier conveyed that it would pay its employees salaries for June on July 15th - a delay of 15 days. However, with the unions threatening to go on a no-pay, no-work agitation of they did not get their pay on June 30, the management decided to pay about 13,000 employees’ salaries by July 3. Unions are now saying the management is not keeping its promise and, therefore, they have to go in for an agitation.

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