Air India Sale: AI union moves Madras HC against disinvestment

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New Delhi: Employees of Air India have moved the Madras High Court over the decision to disinvest the national carrier without protecting the interests of its workers. A writ petition filed by the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), which represents 5,000 Air India employees, wanted the court to restrain the Union government from disinvesting the air carrier without taking into consideration the employees.

Union President C. Udayashankar stated that it is the largest union of Air India employees comprising of cabin crew, drivers, instructors, supervisors, assistants, peons, helpers, sanitation staff, and security staff. He also said that 40 per cent of the union members comprise women.

Hearing the plea on Friday, Justice V. Parthiban issued notice to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India Ltd, and Talace Private Ltd, the company floated by the Tata group to acquire the national carrier.

It directed Additional Solicitor General, R. Sankaranarayanan to file a counter-affidavit before the next hearing.

The high court also granted two interim injections restraining Ari India from evicting the employees from residential accommodation provided to them as also from cancelling the existing medical benefits.

The ACEU, in the petition, stated that there are 20,000 employees in Air India and wanted the management to protect the service condition while disinvestment was taking place. 

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