Eleven Air India pilots went on an indefinite hunger strike on Sunday demanding the reinstatement of their sacked colleagues. The strike entered its 48th day today and has reportedly caused a revenue loss of Rs 530 crores to Air India.
"Our protest (hunger strike) is only for the reinstatement of our sacked colleagues and for the reputation of our union. We want to bring the strike to an end as soon as possible," Rohit Kapahi, committee member of the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG), told IANS.
The Air India management has sacked 101 pilots so far. Around 440 pilots have been on a strike since May 8 against the airline management. Among other reasons, the pilots' strike is in protest of the management's move to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing-787 Dreamliner.
The government has asked the agitating pilots to end the strike, calling it "illegal". Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, in another stern warning to the pilots, told IANS, "We are not waiting for them for ever. We earlier asked them (pilots) to come back and said that no one will be victimised. We had even given a chance to sacked pilots that they can also come back and we will take them back on a case-to-case basis."