Air India unions threaten indefinite strike from November 2 to retain staff quarters


MUMBAI: Air india Ground staff and service engineers have threatened to go on an indefinite strike beginning November 2 due to the airline’s recent notice asking them to vacate their staff rooms within six months of the airline’s privatization. national.
Three unions, representing the majority of ground employees, have demanded that the airline allow them to use the suburbs until their retirement.
The national airline is expected to start next year as a private airline owned by Tata.
In a circular dated October 5, Air India ordered its employees to sign a pledge declaring that they would vacate their homes within six months of privatization. The deadline for submitting the pledge is October 20.
On Wednesday, the joint action committee of Air India Unions submitted the strike notice to the regional labor commissioner on this issue.
More than 7,000 Air India employees live in Air India colonies that occupy approximately 184 acres of land in Kalina, Santacruz.
In their letter to the labor commissioner, the unions said that the lands on which the colonies are situated are leased in perpetuity by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to Air India.
“Therefore AAI owns the land and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) is just a tenant. There is no reason for Air India to leave the colonies in a hurry and hand over the land to the Adani Group, which has seized Mumbai airport, “the letter read.
“There are several slums on airport grounds that have not received notices. The government of Maharashtra is the custodian of the land records and their permission is essential for the transfer and / or change of land user,” the letter said demanding the withdrawal of the Circular of October 5.
“If management has the legal right to ask employees to vacate their homes in these neighborhoods, where is the question of seeking any compromise from employees,” the letter says, adding that management’s demand “seeks to effect changes. that affect the legality? “. rights related to the conditions of service of employees “as provided in the Labor Disputes Act of 1947.
“Staff quarters are primarily awarded to staff who do not have a home in Mumbai and do not receive an HRA payment. As such, they have a legal right to accommodation as a condition of service and a legal right that has existed for several decades. “says the letter. said.
The first buildings in the airline colony were built in 1956, more than a decade after Mumbai airport opened for flights.

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