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    Air India Pilots Continue Indefinite Strike


    by NTDTelevision

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    And the row between pilots and management of India's national airliner continues. Air India pilots are now blaming the carrier's chairman for the airline's heavy financial losses. Pilots walked off the job last week, leaving passengers across the country stranded.

    The standoff began on April 27th when more than 660 pilots of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association went on an indefinite strike.

    But the simmering row between the pilots and management of Air India boiled over on Sunday.

    Angry pilots are now blaming the carrier's chairman for the heavy financial losses incurred by the Airliner.

    The pilots say Chairman Arvind Jadhav is not keen to resolve the deadlock due to the fear of being exposed.

    [Ashok Khadia, Member, Indian Commercial Pilots Assoc.]:
    "Mr. Arvind Jadhav, when he came, he said I will turn around the company. He said it to all of us, he came on TV, he gave statements that he would turn it around. What turn around he did? From Rs. 475 crore (Rs. 4.75 billion or $107,368,892.85), now it is Rs. 16000 crores (Rs. 160 billion or ($36,166,363,908.140) of losses. Who is responsible for this? Not we pilots. It is he who is responsible."

    The primary demands of the protesting pilots are a pay increase and an inquiry into corruption and mismanagement in the Air India administration.

    However, the Air India management says it won't negotiate pay with the pilots.

    [Ashok Khadia, Member, Indian Commercial Pilots Assoc.]:
    "We have not received any message from the management for any kind of talks whatsoever. Though we have tried from all our channels, whatever channels we have, but there is no response from that side."

    The protesting pilots are refusing to return to work, ignoring a warning that the Delhi High Court could initiate contempt proceedings against them.