Mumbai: As many as 37 Air India flights, including some international ones, were affected Thursday after a section of employees of the national carrier’s ground handling subsidiary, AIATSL, went on a flash strike against non-payment of Diwali bonus and other issues, an official said. The employees of the Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) struck work at the Mumbai airport from the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, demanding payment of Diwali bonus and reinstatement of three of their colleagues whose contracts were not renewed by the company, he said.
AIATSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, provides ground handling services to Air India across airports in the country. It has about 5,000 employees, including those on contract. “Some AIATSL employees at the Mumbai airport are on strike since Wednesday-Thursday (intervening) night over non-payment of Diwali Bonus and reinstatement of the services of some of their former colleagues. This stand-off has resulted in flight operations getting hampered,” the official said.
He said around 37 flights, including international ones, were delayed by 2.5 hours-3 hours till 1500 hours Thursday. However, no flight has been cancelled so far, he added. Air India has pressed into service its permanent employees to handle the ground handling operations at the Mumbai airport, the official said.
“The company has already paid the bonus after negotiations but the employees are now insisting that the services of three of their colleagues, whose contracts were not renewed last month, be restored,” he said. “Negotiations are going on between the striking employees and the AIATSL management to resolve the issue,” the official added.