Stalemate ends. Air India Express crew calls off strike, airline to take back 25 terminated staff

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Business Today Desk

Air India Express cabin crew withdrew their strike on May 9 evening after the airline agreed to look into issues raised by them, PTI reported citing sources. The airline has agreed to withdraw termination letters issued to 25 cabin crew, the report stated. 

The decision came after a conciliation meeting between the cabin crew representatives and the airline representatives at the Office of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) in New Delhi earlier in the day.

After two and a half days of stalemate, the airline and the crew came to a middle ground putting an end to the suffering of hundreds of flyers. Hundreds of flights were cancelled since the night of May 7 as a section of the cabin crew reported sick in a protest against alleged mismanagement. 

On Thursday, the airline issued termination letters to around 25 cabin crew who were on strike.

The Tata Group-owned airline has cancelled over 170 flights since Tuesday night amid the crisis, as per PTI.

The airline had set a deadline of 4 pm on Thursday for the other protesting cabin crew members to resume work.

It was learnt that the termination letter accused the agitating cabin crew of causing embarrassment, reputational damage, and monetary loss to the airline. The sudden sick leave by a large number of cabin crew pointed to a pre-meditated and concerted abstention from work without a justifiable cause, the letter said.

Several cabin crew members started reporting sick on May 6 evening leading to a shortage of cabin crew members and “scores of flights” had to be cancelled at various airports, the airline said.

the Civil Aviation Ministry sought a report on the cancellations and asked the airlines to ensure facilities for passengers as per the norms laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In addition to this, the ministry asked the carrier, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, to resolve the issue “promptly”.

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