New Delhi, May 25 : About 25,000 Air India employees, including engineers, have gone on a flash strike protesting against a gag order issued by the management after Saturday’s crash at Mangalore.
The striking employees are upset over the management’s gag order against speaking out in public on the Mangalore crash.
According to the engineers, an Air India flight from Bangalore to Delhi (an Airbus 320) was asked to make a technical halt at Mangalore on May 22, the day of an Air India plane crashed at Mangalore. It was carrying some passengers who lost kin in the crash.
At Mangalore, there was no Air India (AI) engineer to certify it to fly out. So a Kingfisher engineer, apparently not qualified to certify an Airbus 320, was asked to certify the flight and did.
When this flight landed at Delhi, the AI engineers refused to recertify it.
YV Raju, general Secretary of the All India Air Engineers Association, complained to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the incident and spoke to the media about it. But the DGCA said the news hit the media before the complaint came to them.
Air India was upset and issued a showcause notice asking the engineer to explain why he went to the media instead of following up with official channels.
But Raju said as member of the association he had every right to go to media. He also refused to talk to the management until the chargesheet against him was withdrawn.
Meanwhile, the Air Employees Corporation Union (AECU) has joined the strike. Its general secretary Kardiyan has also been chargesheeted.