Mumbai: Continuing his tough stance, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Monday termed the Air India pilots’ strike as “illegal” and asked all striking pilots to resume work immediately.
Hitting out at the 400 Air India pilots of the derecognized Indian Pilots Guild, Ajit Singh said there is no common grounds for talks between the management and the pilots. “They (the pilots) who are on strike have no intention to return to work. I sat with them over three hours trying to understand their problems. They bring out new conditions and then reject it themselves,” an irritated minister told media persons in a brief interaction at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here.
He took pains to explain how the ongoing strike, now almost one-and-half months old, was not working to the benefit of either the Air India or the nation.
Referring to the demands of the IPG, Ajit Singh pointed out that the so-called ‘draft’ was neither signed nor sealed, so it could not be authenticated. “Before going on their strike, they had not issued any notice and even the courts have ruled their action as illegal” he said.
Ajit Singh said that Air India is in a dire financial mess and after a bailout package of Rs.30,000 crore was approved and it was beginning to look up, the pilots went on strike.
He made it clear that his ministry held talks with the protesting pilots at every level, but there no was no solution, so now the Air India management is making new arrangements to tackle the situation.