Mumbai: Pitching for the reinstatement of the 13 sacked Air India pilots, the erstwhile Indian Airlines' pilots body has urged Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh to take a lenient view on the issue saying the pilots had been in "distress and facing hardships" for the past six months. "We wish to urge and humbly request you to kindly take a lenient view with regard to the termination of 13 fellow pilots of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) who are in distress and facing hardships," Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) said in a letter to Singh recently.
Stating the association profusely and earnestly admires his magnanimous gesture in reinstating almost all the terminated pilots to resolve the then crisis, the letter said, "Your goodwill gesture in the reinstatement of terminated pilots will go a long way in building strong internal public relation." The association's appeal to the civil aviation minister comes weeks after a joint forum of several Air India staff unions making similar request to Singh.
The airline management had sacked 101 pilots besides derecognising the IPG, the pilots union of Air India, following a nearly two-month-long strike by over 400 pilots owing allegiance to the Guild in May over the issue of promotions and training on Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots. However, after the intervention of the court and the ministry, the management reinstated all but 13 pilots (all core committee members) over a period of time.
"These brother pilots are languishing in without a job for the past six months, resulting in unimaginable difficulties in even meeting the ends meet," it said, adding, as elected representatives of the Guild, they (the sacked pilots) were bound to follow the decision and the mandate of the general body.
Observing that time has come to amalgamate and work as a team, the association said it has initiated dialogues with the Air India pilots to achieve an understanding and united work for the national carrier.