New Delhi, May 29 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Saturday said he had given full freedom to the Air India management to take any step to deal with disruptions like the recent strike, asserting that indiscipline will not be tolerated.
"I had made it very clear to the management that you have full freedom and you must do whatever is necessary in these circumstances. This (strike) type of gross indiscipline will not be tolerated," said Praful Patel.
"If they (airline management) feel, they are free to do it, we will not come into the picture," he added on being asked whether employees would be sacked for going on strike.
The Civil Aviation Minister distanced himself from the airline management's decision to derecognise two major trade unions, saying it was for the management to take any decision.
Air India had derecognized the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) and the All India Aircraft Engineers Association (AIAEA) and sealed their offices in Mumbai.
Several union leaders had also been dismissed from service.atel said the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines was a long-term process and there had been 'opposition' from within and 'systematic effort' was made to ensure that it did not succeed."I will tell you that there has been opposition from within and systematic effort to see that the merger does not succeed... by a lot of people in the organisation. Now some of the unions also have to be blamed for that," said Patel.
Patel said merger is not a single-day process, adding that the merger should not be blamed for all the problems of Air India.
"It was envisaged as a three to five year process... to say that it is internally or inherently flawed is wrong. It has been delayed -- Yes. The fact is, who has to make it work -- the organisation. But I still feel, if these people do not make it work, they will be losers in the long run," said Patel."I would like to put across.... if there are any problems, if there are losses and if they are systemic issues. Please do not put one attribute of merger. That is another issue," he added.
Over 20,000 Air India crewmembers and maintenance engineers had gone on a flash strike protesting against an order issued by the AI management following the Saturday's plane crash incident at Mangalore.The striking employees were upset over the management's gag order prohibiting some of its leaders to speak out in public on the Mangalore crash.
The order that was issued after the air crash at Mangalore on Saturday (May 22), non-payment of salaries was another reason for the staff to go on strike. (ANI)