Air India flights originating in Mumbai have been severely delayed due to a post-Diwali workers’ strike.
The delay was reported to be a result of a large-sclae strike by contractual employees of AIATSL, a staffing and administrative organization responsible for ground staff operations of Air India.
Initial reports also suggest that a few workers of AIATSL were recently laid off, sparking protests among their colleagues, who went on strike late on Wednesday night. It is estimated that the strike was planned to orchestrate an obvious inconvenience to Air India administration, since the immediate aftermath of Diwali was likely to be a high-traffic scenario for domestic travelers flying out of Mumbai on Wednesday and Thursday.
When contacted, a spokesperson from Air India admitted to Hindustan Times, that the airline’s incumbent delays at Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport were due to a “sudden industrial situation”. The spokesperson notably refrained from referring to the strike, presumably to avoid placing the responsibility of its customers’ inconveniences to its managerial decisions.
“We are assessing the situation and all efforts are being made to minimise delays or disruption.” – Air India Spokesperson
Air India’s international flights were also affected by the workers’ strike.
An Air India flight that was bound for Bangkok from Mumbai’s Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport was also delayed by more than six hours. The flight left at 08:18 AM IST on Thursday, instead of its scheduled departure time of 01:45 AM (Wednesday night), effectively mandating its passengers to spend a night of inconvenience at the Airport during Diwali festivities. Another flight that left for Newark, was delayed by more than two and a half hours. This one, scheduled to depart at 1:30 AM IST, finally left the runway at 4:08 AM. The incident represents gross negligence and mismanagement on Air India’s behalf, and officials from the airline failed to manage the delays effectively, even after contacting additional support staff from their homes on Diwali.
Source: Hindustan Times