Air India pilots on Tuesday informed the Delhi High Court about their decision to end their strike and rejoin work in 48 hours.

This followed the management's ‘assurance’ that the pilots' grievances would be given 'sympathetic' consideration. It will also include reinstatement of the 101 pilots (including the 10 office bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild) terminated during the 58-day long strike. Totally, there were 434 agitating pilots.

Meanwhile, the pilots who were sacked during the strike would submit reports showing their willingness to rejoin work, the court was told.

The court had earlier asked the management to sympathetically consider the pilots' grievances and to amicably settle the dispute.

Disposing of the pilots’ petition, the court asked both the sides to appear on July 5 before the conciliator, Chief Labour Commissioner.

The agitating pilots claimed that the management's move to sack their colleagues also derecognising their union, created a “hostile environment”.

The management contended that the pilots disobeyed court's orders and said that it would sit across to talk to the pilots only if they ended the strike without pre-conditions.

The management also said the airline was suffering Rs 5 crore-worth losses daily and the public has been troubled due to the cancellation of flights following the strike. The total losses are estimated at around Rs 600 crore due to the strike.

The Air India pilots went on strike alleging that the management was not protecting their ‘seniority’ and experience. Following the Indian Airlines' merger, the domestic carriers' pilots were also considered for training including for the Boeing Dreamliner, which the Air India pilots opposed claiming they are ‘senior’ and more experienced.

(This article was published on July 3, 2012)
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