This Article is From May 04, 2011

Civil Aviation Ministry holds talks with Air India pilots

Civil Aviation Ministry holds talks with Air India pilots
New Delhi: After their strike crippled Air India's domestic operations for eight days, the Civil Aviation Ministry today held talks with the protesting pilots to find a way to end the deadlock soon.

Sources said a two-member team of the ministry, headed by Joint Secretary Prashant Shukul, has been set up for talks with the pilots as they understood to have objected to hold parleys with Air India CMD, Arvind Jadhav.

The agitators had responded positively to some "feelers" sent by the ministry and the management since Tuesday night, they said.

Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi reviewed the situation at a meeting with Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav, Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi and other officials.

"Government is willing to settle the issue... I hope wisdom will prevail on the pilots," Ravi had said on Tuesday.

"We are certain that the situation can be resolved by dialogue. We are only waiting for government to come forward to talk to us as we can come to a consensus. ICPA has written to the Prime Minister again asking him to intervene in this matter and we are hopeful that he will call us soon," an Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) leader said.

The pilots are demanding that all sackings, suspensions and transfers - effected during the strike period - be revoked, ICPA's recognition be restored, the contempt of court petition filed by Air India management be withdrawn. They also want a CBI probe into the alleged corruption and mismanagement and all other issues be tackled in a time-bound manner.

Air India has sacked seven pilots and suspended six and the management has decided not to process the April salaries of the agitators "till further instructions".

Delhi High Court had on Tuesday slapped contempt notices on nine office bearers of the de-recognised ICPA for disobeying its order to call off the strike.