Kingfisher declares partial lock-out, suspends flights till Thursday
MDT/PTI 02 October 2012

Kingfisher operations got completely paralysed after pilots and some other staff joined the striking engineers protesting non-payment of salaries for the last six months

 
Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines on Monday night declared a partial lock-out with immediate effect and suspended till Thursday flight operations which came to a grinding halt following a strike by a section of its employees, reports PTI.
 
In a statement, the Vijay Mallya-owned private carrier said it has been forced to declare a "partial lock-out" following a series of "protracted and unabated incidents of violence, criminal intimidation, assault, wrongful restraint and other illegal acts" including refraining from attending work, by a small section of "recalcitrant" employees.
 
The airline said the action by the recalcitrant employees who have regrettably chosen to take law into their own hands forcing a complete paralysis of operations were all "unnecessary and unprovoked."
 
"It has been decided that flight operations will be suspended for the next three days, i.e. until 4 October 2012," it added.
 
The operations got completely paralysed on Monday after pilots and some other staff joined the striking engineers protesting non-payment of salaries for the last six months, sending the shares of the airline tumbling by 5%.
 
Before commencing legal action, the airline said it will make efforts to continue to engage with striking employees to persuade them not to indulge in any intimidatory tactics.
 
The management earlier in the day warned of a temporary shutdown, citing lack of funds to pay salaries even for a month.
 
"We had a long meeting with the CEO Sanjay Aggarwal but no solution has come out rather he threatened a temporary shutdown saying it did not have funds to pay salaries even for a month," a representative of the striking engineers who was part of the meeting told PTI.
 
The meeting between the representatives of striking engineers and Aggarwal lasted for around two-and-a half-hours.
 
With its engineers on strike, Kingfisher reportedly approached Air India and others for getting its aircraft checked for certification.
 
Earlier in the day, the Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had said, "We can't allow Kingfisher to fly until their aircraft are certified. (Since) their engineers are on strike, they can get the planes certified by other engineers also." 
 
However, the minister warned that if the DGCA finds that Kingfisher is not sticking to its schedule or violating safety norms, action will be initiated.
 
Significantly, Singh ruled out shutting down the airline saying, "the government is not in the business of shutting down businesses," as that will "create lot of problems. Even with the 3% market share Kingfisher has, such a move will create a havoc." 
 
For the second day today, operations of the private carriere were paralysed as most of its pilots and engineers, who have not been paid for the six months, struck work.
 
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