ibnlive » India

Apr 02, 2012 at 04:03pm IST

Kingfisher Airlines staff threaten strike over unpaid dues

Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines employees have given the company's management time till April 3 to release their salaries, which have not been paid since December 2011. Refusing to listen to Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya, who promised to pay by dues the April 10, the engineers and pilots of the company met the management on Monday and demanded that their salaries should be paid by 8 pm on Tuesday, April 3.

The engineers and pilots warned the management that if they are not assured that all their pending dues including salaries would be paid by April 20 then they would strike work from Tuesday.

If the management does not meet the deadline, 350 Kingfisher Airlines engineers across the country have threatened not to report to work from Tuesday while at least 30 Mumbai based pilots may also skip work.

The meeting held at Kingfisher Airlines' Andheri office in Mumbai saw the agitated engineers and pilots giving a letter to the management with an ultimatum to either disburse their salaries by Tuesday or be ready to face a strike despite company Chairman Vijay Mallya's assurance on giving salaries to the entire staff in about a week's time.

Two Kingfisher flights from Mumbai had to be cancelled after the crew did not report for work. The two flights cancelled were IT 4159 Mumbai-Bhuj and IT 2121 Mumbai-Hubli.

Earlier, Mallya promised that the junior staff would be paid before Easter on April 4 and all pilots and engineers would get their salaries on April 9 and April 10.

Mallya's letter addressed to the employees came after the Kingfisher Airlines staff who have not been paid their salaries for the past few months wrote to the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, which is managed by Mallya, urging the players to boycott the Indian Premier League (IPL) so that they get their dues.

Kingfisher has been closing down offices across India temporarily due to curtailment of flights from 64 aircraft to 16 aircraft. The Airlines has also suspended all international flights from March 25 and further curtail domestic operations even as Government warned the ailing carrier that its flying licence could be cancelled if it failed to meet safety norms.

Kingfisher has a total debt of about Rs 7,000 crore and accumulated losses of about Rs 6,000 crore. The financial crunch has hit Kingfisher's operations with dozens of flights being cancelled.

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