New Delhi: Protesting against the delay in non-implementation of their demands including pay parity, the talks between Air India pilots and the management failed here on Saturday. Air India pilots have decided to go on strike on March 9.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) members of Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which represents pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines, met the management which tried to convince them to take back their strike notice saying evacuation of Indians from Libya would be affected.

The national carrier had been operating special flights to evacuate Indians from the strife-torn north African country.

The pilots assured the airline management that they were "fully committed to evacuating any Indian from any country going through civil unrest regardless of the status of the strike." They remained firm that management should address their grievances.

The ICPA has served a 14-day strike notice, under Section 22 of the Industrial Disputes Act to airline CMD Arvind Jadhav, charging the management with having failed to address their grievances and violated agreements on issues like pay parity and better working conditions.

The union claimed "various dates and deadlines have come and gone and the management has failed to keep its promises and assurances". As a result, the Indian Airlines' pilots have been "incurring heavy financial losses".

Apart from differences in salaries and working conditions of pilots of Indian Airlines and Air India, the ICPA members are also protesting the delay in payment of salaries, "violation" of a Memorandum of Settlement signed in November 2009 and the management's "failure" to implement the 6th Pay Commission recommendations.

The ICPA is also demanding payment of arrears since "at least the date of merger" of the two airlines in 2007.

With a strike threat by pilots looming large, the Regional Labour Commissioner issued notices and called the union and the management for tripartite talks on Monday.


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