Thursday, April 22, 2021

SpiceJet’s ground staff to go on strike over layoffs

Mumbai: Covid’s second wave has hit SpiceJet so badly that the airline said it has been forced to partially outsource its ground handling operations at Mumbai airport to a private company.

Sources said the airline has planned to lay off 300 out of the 590-strong staff. These largely comprise loaders and drivers who have been employed for 3 to 15 years on fixed-term contract with SpiceJet to carry out ground handling work like loading/unloading cargo, baggage, and transporting passengers between terminal & aircraft.

“On one hand, SpiceJet has bid for Air India and, on the other, they say they don’t have funds to pay full salaries or keep the employees on payroll. We served them a strike notice on Tuesday. They have 14 days now to resolve the issue,” said Arvind Sawant, president of Shiv Sena union Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS). This is — a recognised union of SpiceJet ground handling staff.

A SpiceJet spokesperson said, “The current Covid wave has severely impacted passenger demand and flight operations. In view of the massive uncertainty of demand created by the second wave of Covid in India, SpiceJet has outsourced partial ground operations at the Mumbai airport to CelebiNAS from May 1. As part of the arrangement, CelebiNAS will have a recruitment drive to absorb maximum support staff from SpiceJet to protect employees’ interest.”

22/04/21 Times of India

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