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No out-of-court settlement: Lufthansa talks with laid-off India employees fail

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on March 02, 2021

Airline offers ex-gratia payment; employees want their jobs back

The discussion between German airline Lufthansa and its 103 terminated Indian cabin crew has failed to arrive at an out-of-court settlement.

The employees will now pursue legal recourse with a petition in the Central Government Industrial Tribunal under the Industrial Dispute Act.

Sources close to the development said that Lufthansa management had invited the representatives of the employees on February 25 for an out-of-court-settlement discussion.

One of the employee representatives said the management said:“reinstatement is out of the question but they can look into offering some ex gratia payment. We, in turn, informed them that we hadn't come for ex gratia payment but to get our jobs back, which they (Lufthansa) declined.”

Heena Gurpreet Singh, one of the terminated cabin crew member who spent over a decade with the airline, said: “Lufthansa is adamant about not giving our jobs back. They made a mockery of the whole meeting itself by offering the employees a 0.75 per cent of ex gratia payment,”

Lufthansa did not respond to BusinessLine’s query.

The employee union has already moved a petition, under section 2-A, 9 (A), 10 (1) and 33 of the Industrial Dispute Act in the Central Government Industrial Tribunal. Senior Advocate Mohan Bir Singh has appealed for the prosecution of the management on behalf of the employees.

Lufthansa management had terminated the jobs after the employees did not agree to go on two years leave without pay. “We are willing to consider four years leave with half pay,” Singh said.

“We are willing to settle on legal terms provided the illegal terminations are revoked,” he added.

Published on March 02, 2021

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