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Patel wants strong action against striking IA staff

Last updated on: May 26, 2010 15:56 IST

Patel wants strong action against striking IA staff

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Taking a serious view of the strike by a section of Air India employees, the government on Wednesday asked the management to take 'strong' and 'decisive' action against them as they have indulged in an 'irresponsible' behaviour causing inconvenience to travellers.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the situation and later briefed the Union Cabinet, said the government had given a free hand to the management to take action against the striking employees.

Patel said that the Air India employees' strike is illegal and the employees are acting irresponsibly. They should have shown sympathy after the horrific Mangalore air crash, he said.

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Image: Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.
Photographs: Reuters
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Patel wants strong action against striking IA staff

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"Irresponsible behaviour like this needs strong action. Appropriate action will be taken," he told reporters here while replying to questions on the strike.

"The (AI) management should take strong action. It must respond adequately and as firm as it can," the minister said, adding the government would not like to interfere into the issue as also the way forward for Air India.

Coming down heavily on the striking employees, he said they had caused inconvenience to thousands of travellers across the country besides hurting the image and finances of the national carrier.

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Image: File photograph of striking Air India employees.
Photographs: Reuters
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Patel wants strong action against striking IA staff

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He took specific exception to the timing of the strike, noting that it happened when the AI was faced with the situation arising out of Saturday's plane crash in Mangalore.

The minister said some people cannot take the entire law and management into their hands.

Meanwhile, Air India on Wednesday moved the Bombay high court seeking a direction restraining its employees from continuing their strike.

However, the vacation bench of the High Court, comprising Justices S J Kathawala and R G Ketkar, declined to grant relief in the absence of the other party. The court asked the national carrier to give notice to the employees' union and adjourned the hearing till May 28.

Around 20,000 employees, including engineers, went on a nationwide flash strike yesterday to protest Air India's gag order -- a circular prohibiting union leaders from going public with their demands, according to Union leaders. The demands included issues relating to payment of salaries.


Photographs: Reuters
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