Despite Mallya’s assurance, Kingfisher workers threaten strike
PTI NEW DELHI TROUBLED private carrier Kingfisher Airlines struggled with yet another crisis on Monday with its employees threatening to go on strike if their salary dues were not paid within a day.
Despite an assurance from Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya, airline employees appeared in no mood to relent. Mallya has assured that all junior staff will be paid dues by April 4 and pilots and engineers on April 9 and 10.
In a bid to get some help in securing their dues, Kingfisher employees have also appealed to the players of Royal Challenger Bangalore to boycott Indian Premier Leauge (IPL) cricket matches starting April 4
Some flights from Delhi and Mumbai were reported cancelled on Monday as staff did not report for duty.
However, there was no official confirmation on the cancellation.
The debt-laden airlines had announced on March 27 that it will operate 120 flights with 20 aircrafts for the summer schedule starting March 25 and ending October 27, 2012.
In an internal communication, Mallya announced that formalities for de-freezing the company’s bank accounts were completed on Sunday following payment of Rs. 44 crores to the Income Tax and Rs 20 crores to the Service Tax authorities before March 31.
The authorities had earlier frozen close to 40 accounts of the airline for non-payment of dues.
Mallya also indicated that starting this week, he would be personally available at each major station once a week to listen to the concerns of all staff at all levels.
“We have managed to keep the lights on in our days of darkness with adversity from every conceivable direction.
The freeze of our accounts and consequent IATA suspension, the resultant loss of the BSP booking platform, the adverse media blitz and the loss of customer confidence are all serious challenges that we have survived,” Mallya’s e-mail said.
Employees of the cashstrapped carrier, who have not been paid since last December, have put the airline on notice to pay two months’ salaries and dues by Tuesday evening and clear the remaining dues by April 20.
Kingfisher has massively cut down its operations, including shutting down many domestic sectors and completely discontinuing international operations.
From 400 flights a day before the crisis, it is operating just about 100 flights now. The airline, which has a debt of $1.3 billion, is under pressure from its lenders to inject equity.