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Just ended Air India pilots' strike 2nd longest

Last updated on: July 4, 2012 16:02 IST

Just ended Air India pilots' strike 2nd longest

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The 58-day-long pilots' strike in Air India, which was called off late on Tuesday night, was the second longest since the national carrier came into existence in 1946, after a 90-day strike by cockpit crew 38 years ago.

While the strike by its pilots in 1974 to protest cost cutting measures by the airline after a massive hike in fuel prices went on for 90 days, a strike by Air India's flight engineers had lasted 56 days in 1993-94.

Before the 1993-94 stir, the second longest strike was in erstwhile Indian Airlines whose pilots went on a five-week agitation in 1991-92 demanding a hike in wages and allowances.

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Image: A Bharat Petroleum refuelling vehicle sits on the tarmac next to an Air India A320 aircraft.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Just ended Air India pilots' strike 2nd longest

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This time, Indian Pilots' Guild, which represents about 450 pilots of the merged national carrier who mainly operate long-haul, wide-body planes, had struck work since May 7 over career progression issues.

The latest strike, which also saw pilots going on protest fast in Delhi and Mumbai from June 24, was the longest since the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines in 2007.

There have been several strikes since the merger so far, with a major one by Indian Commercial Pilots Association, representing the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots, lasting 11 days last year to demand pay parity with their IPG colleagues.

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Image: Air India ticketing counter.
Photographs: Reuters

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Just ended Air India pilots' strike 2nd longest

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In May 2010, Air India's biggest union, Air Corporation Employees' Union, and Air India Aircraft Engineers' Association had struck work, leading to the sacking of 56 staffers and de-recognition of both these unions.

During the latest strike, IPG had demanded that training on the Boeing 787 Dreamliners be restricted to long-haul pilots belonging to the erstwhile Air India and not to those from the former Indian Airlines, saying it would block their career progression chances.

Following this strike, Air India management sacked 101 pilots and de-recognised IPG for leading the agitation.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Air India pilots to report back to work from today

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The two state-run carriers were merged in 2007 forming a new entity called National Aviation Company of India Limited, which was later renamed as Air India Limited.

The airline and the government are now proceeding with the implementation of the Justice D M Dharmadhikari Committee's recommendations to address all issues relating to human integration, pay parity and career progression.

To prevent any further industrial action by any section of its 27,000 employees, Air India has held and is planning to hold more rounds of negotiations with all unions.

The two state-run carriers were merged in 2007 forming a new entity called National Aviation Company of India Limited, which was later renamed as Air India Limited.

The airline and the government are now proceeding with the implementation of the Justice D M Dharmadhikari Committee's recommendations to address all issues relating to human integration, pay parity and career progression.

To prevent any further industrial action by any section of its 27,000 employees, Air India has held and is planning to hold more rounds of negotiations with all unions.


Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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