Opposing the government’s airports privatisation plan, Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU) has threatened to renew its agitation including a strike call if the move is not halted.
The AAEU, in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju recently, has also alleged that the decision to privatise the development, operations and management of four more airports – Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Ahmedabad – violates the Tripartite Committee recommendations, which have already been accepted by the government long back.
The copies of the letter have also been marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister, AAI chairman, Chief Labour Commissioner and the Parliamentary panel for Transport, Culture and Tourism.
“If the government does not give us a proper hearing, we shall be constrained to take to recourse to industrial action and call for a general strike in AAI,” the union said in the letter.
The decision is detrimental to the interests of not only AAI employees but also air travelling public, it said.
“The services provided at private airports come at a high price, as has been experienced with all the existing private airports where costs borne by the air travelers are much higher in comparison to the AAI-managed airports, where quality service is equally available at a much cheaper price,” the union said.
It may be noted here that travelling from Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports has become highly expensive ever since they have gone to the private players – namely the GMR and GVK groups.
The fresh agitation threat by the AAI employees comes following the NDA government taking a U-turn on the airport privatisation policy.