Will agitating KFA employees disrupt Indian Grand Prix?

Kingfisher employee
New Delhi, Oct 25: The war between liquor-baron Vijay Mallya and agitating employees of troubled Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) will accelerate further. The KFA employees who are demanding their long pending salaries are planning to gherao the Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida to protest against Mallya.

The liquor-baron who is all set to attend weekend's Indian Grand Prix has refused to meet his employees, who are insisting to have a direct talk with Mallya.

Mallya, the Force India co-owner, said on Tuesday, Oct 23 that it would again be a proud moment seeing his cars racing in the colours of the national flag at star-studded motor race event.

"We have planned to stage a dharna [sit-in protest] when Vijay Mallya comes at the grand prix," a Kingfisher engineer said. "A protest at the sporting event will highlight our plight to the entire world." An air hostess added, "What is the option left before us but to protest? All of us are in deep financial crisis, but [Mallya] is unperturbed. [He is] mocking at our misery with his lifestyle."

The debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines has not been operating flights since Oct 1, after which its flying licence was suspended by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The employees of Kingfisher Airlines have been seeking to speak directly to Mallya regarding their issues but have not been given permission to do so. They are seeking four months' pay by Oct 26.

Since he was missing from the country for a long time, media labelled him as an "absconder". Replying to the allegations, Mallya tweeted, "I travel 24x7 where my multiple work responsibilities take me. Sections of media call me an absconder because I don't talk to them."

Mallya has been constantly absent from any of the meetings between the management and agitating employees of his debt-ridden carrier.

The DGCA earlier had issued a show-cause notice to crisis-ridden KFA asking it to explain why its licence should not be suspended or cancelled.

Despite receiving their response, DGCA was not convinced and suspended its flying licence. Expecting to have a settlement with its protesting pilots and other employees, the airline officials earlier had sought for more time and a personal hearing, but failed to answer to DGCA's questions regarding its financial plan or operational plans.

OneIndia News

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