India's Jet Airways pilots call off strike
New Delhi, September 13, 2009
The standoff between India's Jet Airways and pilots on strike over the sacking of four colleagues has ended, the airline said on Sunday.
More than half the carrier's 760 pilots, banned from striking without informing the airline's management ahead of time, had reported sick since Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and affecting thousands of passengers.
The pilots say they went on mass leave after four of their colleagues were sacked because they were trying to get the management to recognise their newly formed union.
The standoff ended after talks between the two sides late on Saturday, and the executive director will issue a statement, the airline said.
"All I can tell you is that there is no union and that there will be an internal committee," Ragini Chopra, a spokesman for the airline, said by phone. "An internal committee comprising members of the management and the pilots."
The dispute is seen as an example of touchy labour relations in a country where creaky labour laws place many limits on hiring and conditions for retrenchment, hurting competitiveness and leading to worker unrest.
The National Aviators Guild, a Jet Airways pilots' union, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Jet has said the four pilots were fired for indiscipline and called the mass absence of pilots a "simulated strike".
Most Indian private airlines do not have unions and analysts have warned the unrest at Jet Airways could become the trigger for labour unrest in other airlines. - Reuters