The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) had called for an indefinite strike starting Saturday (January 15).
After one more round of discussion with the management of Air India Express on Friday (January 14), the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) has called off the indefinite strike, which was to begin today (January 15).
“On account of the commitment given by the management in raising the matter with the Tata Group and resolving the same, we wish to announce our decision to postpone the proposed strike and provide the additional time requested by the management to bring about a positive resolution in this regard,” AIXEU (BMS) President Shri KK Vijayakumar, who is also the Vice-President of RSS-inspired Kerala State Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), said in a statement.
He added, “the management has rendered solemn assurance in writing that they will act in good faith in resolving the cabin crew’s curtailment of employment contract issue during the next hearing, which is scheduled on February 10, 2022.”
The cabin crew of Air India Express, which the Tata Group has now been acquired, accused the management of reducing their contract period from five years to one year, while other staff members and new recruits have been provided with a five-year contract.
Air India Express, a fully owned subsidiary of Air India, is based in Kochi and operates about 90 domestic and international flights per week. The Tata Group will be the new owner of Air India on January 23.
In the meeting on Monday (January 10), the management and the AIXEU had reached a consensus on most of the issues, but the deadlock remained on the curtailment of the contract of the cabin crew. The cabin crew constitutes around 70 per cent of the staff.
The AIXEU had strongly objected to the management’s contention that the new management would look into these matters. “Management can not, after all these months of inaction, take the excuse of saying the management of Tata shall take a decision on the same,” it said.
The AIXEU argued that since the current management decided to curtail the contract, the resolution should also be worked upon by the same management. The management has given the AIXEU assurance that they will work with the new management to resolve the contract issue by February 10.
The AIXEU President KK Vijayakumar said that during weeks of negotiation, the AIXEU has never halted the passenger services as it would severely cause inconvenience to the passengers.