Following a strike by Air India’s ground contractual staff against non-payment of Diwali bonus Wednesday evening, the national carrier Thursday said some flight operations were affected at the Mumbai airport. “Due to a sudden industrial situation at Mumbai by Air India Transport Service Limited (AIATSL) employees, some flights have got delayed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA). We are assessing the situation and all efforts are being made to minimise delays or disruption,” an AI spokesperson said.
On Wednesday night, more than 3,000 employees of AIATSL announced a strike over non-payment of salaries and bonuses to them. Since 12 am on Thursday, the employees refused to work till their demands are fulfilled. The AIATSL employees work on a contractual basis to handle ground handling of Air India flights across airports in the country. From their total strength of 5,000 employees, most work at Mumbai airport.
A senior Air India official said, “They demand revision in their payment standards and are upset over not being paid salaries. They have refused to report to work since last night which has disrupted flight services. They also demand the reinstatement of sacked employees.”
“Many Air India staff from different stations have been called from home to help with passenger check-in. Due to a sudden industrial situation at Mumbai by AIATSL employees, some flights have got delayed. We are assessing the situation and all efforts are being made to minimise delays or disruption,” an Air India Spokesperson said.
According to Mumbai airport officials, Air flights are facing an average delay of 2 hours since last night. The arrival of eight flights and departure of 16 flights were affected. While eight domestic flights were delayed, 16 international flights were affected.