ACEA stage dharna, hold staff hostage

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Nedumbassery, Aug 1 (UNI) In a significant turn in the ongoing agitation, the members of Airlines Casual Employees Association (ACEA) today staged a gherao, holding the Air India Officials working in Kochi Airport hostage in the office of Air India functioning in the Airport.

The Airline Casual Employees Association (ACEA) was on a war path demanding wage hike. The workers of ACEA who surrendered their land and houses for the construction of the Airport were provided employment as part of a rehabilitation package of the workers. But the workers were paid a meager wage of Rs 150 per day.

The ACEA launched an agitation when the demand of the workers was ignored by Air India Management, the office bearers of ACEA alleged.

They resorted to a relay hunger strike in front of the central gate of the Kochi International Airport for more than 40 days.

The mode of agitation took a new turn when about 40 members of the ACEA stormed into the office of the Air India in the Airline Building today. They held the staff hostage for more than a couple of hours.

The women staff of the Air India was freed from the office immediately. The Police held talks with the agitators who demanded the AI officials to fix an appointment with Air India CMD for ACEA leader Sebastian Paul MP to discuss and settle the dispute.

The agitators dispersed when police assured that the AI Officials would arrange such an appointment after discussing with AI top Officials in Mumbai.

The representatives of the ACEA, K J Issac and D Radhakrishnan were assured by the AI Officials at Kochi Airport in the evening that Sebastian Paul could discuss the matter with AI CMD on August 4, police said.

UNI XR TSM AKJ HT2350

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