Stalemate at AI; no word on IPG demand

Stalemate continued between the striking Air India pilots and the government for the 21st day, with civil aviation minister Ajit Singh reiterating the call to pilots to report to work.

The minister said their demands would be considered "only if they report for duty unconditionally".

The Indian Pilots' Guild, now de-recognised union of pre-merger Air India pilots, started calling in sick fromMay 8, protesting the airline's decision to send their counterparts from Indian Airlines for training on the yet to be inducted Dreamliner aircraft.

In response to a letter from the IPG on May 27 two days after a few representative met the minister the statement said that the pilots "have continued to insist in their demands" despite minister's assurances to look into them.

The letter had demanded that re-instatement of 101 terminated pilots, recognition of IPG and assurance of a time-bound promotion of first officer pilots. While the government had agreed to take back 91 sacked pilots, it said that the ten sacked union leaders would be taken on a "case per case" basis.

The pilots' strike has been declared illegal by the Delhi High Court, which also slapped contempt notices.

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