Threat of stir by Air India staff looms large

New Delhi: The threat of an agitation by a large chunk of Air India`s staff from Monday to protest delay in payments of salaries and other dues loomed large on Thursday with a marathon meeting between them and the management failing to yield any result.

The meeting would continue today, an airline official said after over nine hours of deliberations between the two sides.

"We are hopeful that the problem would be resolved," he said.

However, Indian Pilot`s Guild (IPG) sources said the management has agreed to pay a portion of due allowance along with each month`s salary.

In this way the backlog would be cleared in four to five months, but the management had put in a rider that it would be done only when the airline gets money from the government, they said, adding they were not ready to give us "firm assurance".

They said they had come out of the meeting but then they got a call from CMD`s office asking them to come again tomorrow for further talks.

Eight major unions representating pilots, engineers and others have sought the Prime Minister`s intervention to resolve the crisis, failing which they have threatened to go on a "No Pay, No work" agitation from April two.

Earlier the management had promised a staggered schedule for payment of dues — one instalment each of salary and productivity-linked incentive (PLI) by this month-end, another such instalment by April end and the remaining portion in May, by when Air India expected to get funds through the equity infusion of Rs 4,000 crore announced in this budget.