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Air India unions threaten ‘indefinite strike’ from November 2 after vacate company accommodation order – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Air India unions have served a strike notice over the issue of being asked to vacate their company accommodation in Mumbai’s Kalina within six months of the divestment deal’s transaction closing date.
The Joint Action Committee of AI Unions on Wednesday issued a notice to Mumbai’s regional labour commissioner, saying they may go on an indefinite strike from November 2 on this issue. As per rules, a union has to give two weeks’ notice before it can go on strike.
A letter with the strike notice says AI employees living in its colonies got a letter from the airline on October 5 asking them to give an undertaking by October 20, 2021, that they will vacate the homes within six months of the airline being privatised. AI has a colony in Mumbai’s Kalina and Delhi’s uber posh Vasant Vihar. Asked if the strike notice is only for Kalina homes, a union office-bearer said the issue with the same in bth the metros. “All unions are discussing the situation in Delhi and Mumbai on a daily basis and will collectively take a call on the strike,” he said.
The union letter says: “It is learnt that the land on which the colonies are situated are leased in perpetuity by Airports Authority of India (AAI) to AI. AAI is the owner and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) is only a tenant. There is no reason for AI vacate the colonies in a tearing hurry and hand over the land to the Adani Group (which is now promoter of MIAL). There are several slums on airport land which have not been served notices. Maharashtra government is is the custodian of land records and their permission is essential for transfer…”
The joint forum has demanded that the October 5 circular asking employees to give undertaking be withdrawn and “employees be permitted to continue to reside in their respective homes till their retirement” from service. “…failing which we are left with no alternative but to resort to an indefinite strike from November 2, 2021, onwards,” it says.
The GoM on AI divestment had on August 9, 2021, decided that AI employees can continue staying at the company’s residential properties post divestment “for a period of six months or till the property is monetised, whichever is earlier. Appropriate binding legal… financial disincentives should be formulated to enable prompt vacation…” Accordingly, employees were asked to give undertakings to the effect to ensure AI’s sprawling staff colonies in Delhi’s uber posh Vasant Vihar and Mumbai’s Kalina get vacated in time to allow real estate monetisation.
The government has warned that AI employees overstaying in the airline’s colonies beyond the permitted period post divestment in Delhi and Mumbai will be slapped with penalties of Rs 10 and Rs 15 lakh, respectively, and also charged double the market rent for unauthorised period of stay. This amount will be recovered from their dues.





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