Salary before Christmas: Kingfisher

Apparently succumbing to pressure from its employees demanding clearance of salary dues, Kingfisher management on Wednesday said it would expedite payment of October salary ahead of Christmas and claimed that “most” of them had agreed to resume work from Friday.

In a fresh letter to the striking staffers, airline CEO Sanjay Aggarwal said, “We have received several requests asking for status of salary for the duration of partial lock-out period and asking for salary in December 2012 to be paid one week earlier than December 31, 2012.

“I am pleased to confirm that as a goodwill gesture the company will pay full October salary to all employees and we commit to paying the same prior to Christmas, 2012.”

Counter to the employees’ claims that a majority of them were opposed to the offer made by him earlier, Mr Aggarwal claimed that “most” of them had sent their confirmation to resume duty from October 26. “We request the rest of you to send your acceptance at the earliest,” he said.

When contacted by PTI, Mr Aggarwal refused to divulge the source of cash flow for the airline to manage the salary payment.

The employees have been on strike since September 29 demanding payment of salary dues since March this year. The strike had led to the company declaring a lockout from October 1, which was followed by suspension of their Scheduled Operator’s Permit by aviation regulator DGCA.

The airline employees, who held meetings in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, had on Tuesday rejected the offer of payment of three months’ salaries in a staggered manner as part payment of dues and insisted that it should be paid in lumpsum.

However, its Mumbai-based pilots had said they were ready to accept the deal offered by the management as a condition to resume work. Salaries have been pending for seven months.

Mr Aggarwal on Tuesday sent out emails to individual employees offering them three months salary by Diwali in mid-November, saying if they accepted the offer, they should send an acceptance note and resume work from Friday, which was objected to by the protestors.

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