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AI employees call off strike, 15 sacked

CNN-IBN
May 26, 2010 at 08:40pm IST

New Delhi: The Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) on Wednesday called off their strike just a few hours after the Delhi High Court ordered a stay on the strike.

The union called off the strike after Civil Aviation Ministry decided to act tough and take action against striking employees. Air India management was given a clear mandate by the Prime Minister's Office to take action against striking employees following which the airline sacked 15 employees while 17 have been suspended.

ACEU Regional Secretary Vivek Rao said that the union was calling off the strike as the "management had come to an understanding of our demands".

AI employees call off strike, 15 sacked

NOT FLYING: Passengers stand at the Air India counter for refunds and re-scheduling in Mumbai.

"We are calling off our strike. Court has given us a direction and we are following that. After meeting the Chief Labour Commissioner we have decided to call off strike," said Rao.

Air India claimed that the airline would be able to clear all flights backlog by Thursday afternoon or evening.

Earlier on Wednesday the Delhi High Court restrained Air India employees from carrying on with their strike. The High Court ordered the stay on strike on a petition filed by National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), which said that the strike by Air India employees is illegal and causing a lot of passenger inconvenience.

The Court ruled that the strike had to be discontinued and the employees cannot go on strike from May 31.

At least 13,000 passengers were stranded because of the strike called by Air India's ground and technical staff who said they were protesting against a company "gag" order on union leaders speaking to reporters about Saturday's accident.

The striking employees said the "gag" order had also asked them not to speak about the airline's safety issues or staff problems. They said two of their leaders had been threatened with sacking for speaking to the media on these issues.

Air India spokesman K Swaminathan said 76 flights were cancelled. Among them were 18 international flights to destinations including Singapore, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok.

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