Flight services delayed due to agitation

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Kochi, Apr 25: At least two flight services were delayed at the Kochi International Airport, Nedumbassery, when the members of the Airlines Casual Employees Association resorted to ''Work to Rule'' agitation, refusing to take up over-time duty, here today.

The employees were engaged in loading and unloading of baggage in the airport. The unloading of baggage in Air India Express Flights 'IX 412' from Sharjah and 'IX 452' from Abu Dhabi were reportedly delayed due to the agitation.

However, Air India Sr Manager Michael Joseph told newspersons that there was no delay in the flight services due to the agitation.

The casual workers of the Air India were on a war path as they were getting only Rs 150 as daily wages since 1999. The people who had to surrender their land and houses for the construction of the airport were appointed as casual labours in AI in 1999.

Earlier, the Central Labour Commissioner (CLC) had insisted Air India management and employees association to settle wage dispute and fix Rs 190 as daily wages.

When the labours demanded more benefits, AI reportedly backed out from the understanding, prompting the casual workers to resort to direct agitation.

As the first phase of the agitation, the association decided not to do any overtime duty and work only for eight hour on Wednesday onwards.

Meanwhile, the AI, the sole Ground Handling Agency in the Kochi airport, had taken alternative arrangements to ensure smooth operation of flight services.

UNI

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