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Air India pilots threaten to go on strike

Mumbai: Toughening its posture against the deferment of payment of January salary to February 14 by Air India management, a section of its pilots on late Monday threatened to go on a flash strike to protest the move.

“We demand that our salaries should be disbursed by 5pm of February 10, failing which we will go on flash strike,” Indian Commercial Pilots Association General Secretary (ICPA) Capt Rishabh Kapoor said.

The management has deferred the salary twice in this month, Kapoor said adding this is not acceptable to pilots. Citing cash crunch, Air India Monday delayed for the second time payment of salary to its 30,000 employees for the month of January.

The national carrier, which had earlier said that the salaries would be disbursed on February 10, now says that they will be paid on February 14.

“In supercession of earlier notification on the subject (salary for January 2011) will be disbursed on February 14 and not on February 10, as advised earlier,” the airline said Monday.
Airline officials said that the delay was due to the critical financial position.

A January 31 notification had said that due to “critical financial position” it has been decided to delay the salary disbursement for the month of January 2011 to February 10.

The ailing national carrier, however, posted Rs 49.48 crore worth of operating surplus in December and Rs 21.66 crore in November.

Air India employees used to get their salary on the last day of the month but after facing financial crisis the airline management decided to disburse the salary on the 7th of every month. The airline’s salary bill is to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore per annum.

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