HC refuses to revoke derecognition of pilots union

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today refused to stay the Air India management order derecognising the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which is spearheading the ongoing pilots` stir for pay parity.

The court, however, said that derecognition will not come in the way of any dialogue between the management and the striking pilot`s body.

Refusing to accede to ICPA`s plea to revoke its derecognition, Justice S Murlidhar issued notice to Air India Ltd and sought its response on the plea by the pilots` body by July 16, the next date of hearing.

The 800-odd pilots, who belong to the erstwhile Indian Airlines and owe allegiance to the ICPA, went on strike from midnight of April 26, alleging that there are differences in salaries and working conditions of pilots of Indian Airlines and Air India which were merged in 2007.

ICPA was derecognised by the Air India`s management after pilots began their stir.

"The derecognition will not come in the way of any dialogue between the management and the striking pilot`s body," Justice Murlidhar said.

Justice Geeta Mittal of the high court had on Wednesday asked the pilots to call off their agitation and resume work in "larger public interest."

Justice Mittal had also pulled up the management for the delay in considering the issue of pay parity but had asked the striking pilot to withdraw their strike forthwith.

But Justice Mittal on Thursday issued notices to the ICPA office bearers seeking their replies as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be launched against them for defying court`s order to resume work.

The judge had warned that property of their trade union ICPA will be attached if they did not return to work immediately.

She had issued notices on a plea by the Air India management, seeking launch of contempt of court proceedings against the agitating pilots.

The ICPA has claimed that while Air India pilots enjoy a big fixed salary component, the same is almost minuscule for the former IA pilots.

The pilots have contended that while their entire pay package depends on the hours they fly every day, the airlines has been curtailing the number of flights by 30 to 40 per cent.