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Pilots, Government are Wasting Time!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
There seems to be no solution to the deadlock over the Air India strike except what was proposed in these columns over a year ago on May 1, 2011. It was pointed out then that the pilots did have genuine grievances even though their methods to seek redress may be criticized. Within five years from 2005-2006 to 2010 Air India from making profit started losing annually Rs 8,500 crore! It required subsidy by tax payers to the tune of Rs 2000 crore. It stood at the fourth position among airlines but had a market share of only 15 percent even while owning the largest fleet of aircraft. Voices were raised demanding privatization of the airline. Pilots alleged deliberate mismanagement to allow privatization and the raking in of huge bribes by officials.
A simple solution was suggested in these columns. Since a year has passed without reaching accord on the dispute that solution bears repetition. I wrote:
It is not too late. Unless the nation is willing to see its flagship airline disappear this is the only solution. The pilots should get together and create an apex body of all the different unions of the airline. They should make the offer to the government of running the airline themselves on the lines suggested above. They might consider inviting Mr. Ratan Tata or any other senior executive of Tata industries to become the elected Chairman for reviving the airline founded by the company. It does not involve only profit but national pride. This is the best way forward. No other solution has surfaced in the last one year. No other solution is likely to emerge in the future. Enough time has been wasted. The government and the pilots should not waste more time.
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05/13/2012 06:19 AM