Air India pilots' strike enters Day 4, Ajit Singh to meet PM
New Delhi, May 11 (ANI): Union Aviation Minister Ajit Singh is expected to meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Friday as the ongoing crisis in Air India deepened further on the fourth day with the cancellation of twelve more flights.
"I am also hopeful that Air India will not move to ICU. I will take up the issue of the Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) costs, other costs and the problem faced by the passengers," Singh told media here.
Asserting that Air India needed to stand on its own feet, Ajit Singh said: "We have to see how to make Air India stand on its feet and for that the employees have to work hard. If they only see their personal interest, Air India will sink and all of them will sink with it."
Stressing on the issue of safety, he said: "Safety cannot be compromised with. We do not have any tolerance in this case."
Earlier, Singh emphasized that the move of the pilots was hurting the credibility of the national carrier.
"Reach out to me; all it takes is call off the illegal strike. From day one, I have been saying everything is negotiable, at least we can talk. In fact Dharmadhikari Report when it is implemented, all the issues they are raising will come up. The Dharmadhikari Report has already considered all those issues. Still if they want to discuss, they are welcome," he said, while responding to a question that the guild has sent out a press release giving indication that they are for negotiations.
"But again let them make sure that Air India doesn't lose credibility and passengers are not inconvenienced," he added.
The ongoing agitation by pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) is severely affecting the passengers, who allege that they were not being informed about the cancellation of their flights in advance.
The management of national carrier Air India had on Thursday moved the Supreme Court to order the airline's striking pilots back to work.
Even as the pilots and their representative body-The Pilots Guild-refused to call off their strike, saying that they were concerned about career progression, a tough Air India management filed a contempt plea in the apex court, saying that the pilots were defying a Delhi High Court order to call off their strike immediately and return to duty to ease passenger inconvenience.(ANI)
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