10 Dec, 2018 1:59p.m.

AAI employees on hunger strike against airports privatisation

The Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU), expressing displeasure with the central government's move to privatise six airports is organising a three-day relay hunger strike from today.

The union has warned that staff would go on mass casual leave from December 28, if the government does not revoke its decision.

The government last month cleared a proposal to manage six airports of Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the public private partnership. The aerodromes are Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru.

In a release, the AAEU said it has been compelled to carry out hunger strike and mass casual leave under the banner of joint forum of union and associations of the AAI.

In a release, the AAI employees union has said, "The policy of the government is not clear with regard to profit making industries and the Union is carrying out the Industrial Action due to media report of the proposal of PPP, the Union carrying out Industrial action as well as Mass Casual Leave 28.12.2018 Relay Hunger Strike on 10.12.2018 to 12.12.2018."

It added, "Public-private partnership (PPP) model causes denial of Job opportunities to the society coming under the purview of SC/ST/OBC group as reservation policies restricted only to Govt. sector. The government not allowing the AAI Board to function administratively to bring higher growth in order to meet the requirement of rural/urban Airports and frequently media printing RFQ/ PPP of Airports."

Employees would go on a relay hunger strike for three days from Monday.

"The relay hunger strike will not impact operations which will continue as we don't want passengers to face any kind of inconvenience," AAEU General Secretary B S Ahlawat told PTI.

The AAEU, which represents 9,000 employees, had staged protests across the country on December 4 also against the government's decision.

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