Air India employees oppose move to privatise the airline

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 08, 2019 Published on July 08, 2019

File photo   -  PTI

Air India employees have opposed the government’s move to privatise the state-owned airline. The opposition to the proposed disinvestment proposal was conveyed to Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, at a meeting that 13 unions had with him on Monday.

“We are not prepared to surrender on this issue (privatisation of Air India). We oppose the basic plan of the government. Privatisation is not the solution... look at what happened to Jet Airways,” one of the union leaders who attended the meeting told newspersons.

The opposition comes days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech that the strategic disinvestment of select Central Public Sector Enterprises would continue to remain a priority for the Government. “In view of the current macro-economic parameters, the Government would not only re-initiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, but would offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector,” the Minister said. The privatisation process is expected to start in August after Air India’s financials for 2018-19 are finalised.

Employee sentiments

Conceding that the government as the owner could do anything, union leaders said they wanted to convey the sentiments of employees to the government.

“We will approach all and the sundry whether it be Ministers or Members of Parliament or others,” another leader said adding that the government should realise that Air India employees have not been paid their salary dues.

At the meeting, Lohani is said to have reiterated the government’s stand. Attempts to contact the Air India CMD proved futile as he declined to comment on what transpired in the over two-and-a-half hour meeting.

Among the unions that attended the meeting were the Air Corporation Employees Union, Air India Employees Union, Indian Airlines Technicians Association, All-India Aircraft Engineers Association, Indian Commercial Pilots Association, Indian Pilots Guild, Air India Aircraft Engineers Association, Air India Cabin Crew Association, Air India Engineers Association, Aviation Industry Employees Guild, All-India Service Engineers Association and United Air India Officers Association.

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Published on July 08, 2019
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