Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Technicians servicing Air India flights go on strike, no effect on flights so far

Mumbai: About 1,700 aircraft maintenance technicians working with a company that handles maintenance and repair jobs for private carrier Air India have gone on an indefinite 'tools down agitation' strike, which began at 9 am on Tuesday.

Air India flights haven't been hit so far, engineers working the said company have stepped in, said sources.

But flights are likely to be affected if the strike pulls on for long, said a source, adding that the technicians employed with government-owned Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) make up for about 60 % of its workforce. The ongoing 'tools down agitation' is privatized airline Air India's first experience with labor-related strife.

The said technicians, on fixed-term contract with AIESL, had earlier threatened a `tools down agitation’ across country in January and then again in February. Both the time, negotiations were on with the management in presence of labour commissioner and the agitation was postponed.

Among the jobs these technicians handle for Air India are aircraft fueling, readying the aircraft for departure, marshaling, maintenance work etc. Their demands include salary revision, employment contract renewal, inclusion of dearness allowance etc.

“We want salary based on `equal work, equal pay'. Our salaries should be on par with that of service engineers of Air India because our job profile, qualifications etc are the same,” said a technician, requesting anonymity.

15/03/22 Manju V/Times of India

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