The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notices to the Indian government and Air India management on the striking pilots' plea for their salaries for March.
The striking pilots moved the court Tuesday against the non-payment of their salaries.
After hearing the plea filed by Capt. Sumeer Saini and his fellow pilots through their counsel Pinki Anand, the court asked the government and Air India management to respond to it within a week.
Issue notice to the respondents (the Centre and the Air India). A reply be filed within a week, Justice S P Garg said, according to a PTI report.
The court has posted the matter for further hearing July 10.
The pilots owing allegiance to Indian Pilots Guild have been on strike from May 7, demanding parity in wages and career progression. The striking pilots are seeking payment of their salaries and other perquisites due to them for March as they were not on strike in that month.
Salaries of nearly 450 pilots are due. This petition has got nothing to do with the ongoing agitation. The EMIs (to be paid by pilots) and other things are getting delayed, Anand said, according to a PTI report.
However, Lalit Bhasin, counsel for the Air India management, opposed the plea and argued that their plea cannot be entertained till they end their strike.
The court had earlier issued notice to the striking pilots for disobeying its order directing them to discontinue their strike, which it had declared illegal. The Air India management derecognized the IPG and has so far sacked 110 pilots. Air India is mulling over sacking the remaining striking pilots as the 35-day strike has caused more than Rs 40 billion ($718.6 million) loss to the state run air carrier. The air carrier is operating on a contingency plan, scaling down its international operations from 45 to 38 services per day.
Our losses on account of grounded fleet and unused manpower remain within the Rs.5-6 crore (or 50-60 million) per day range. Operations to northeast Asia have been hit badly, so have the services to the U.S. and Europe, an Air India official said, according to an IANS report.