Airport workers to resume work

New Delhi, February 4:

India’s striking airport orkers today agreed to call of their four-day old agitation after civil aviation minister Praful Patel assured them in writing that privatization of Delhi and Mumbai airports would not affect their jobs.

Patel handed over a letter to the senior members of the left-controlled Airport Authority of India (AAI) union in which he promised that the privatisation process will not lead to any victimisation of the staff, neither will anybody lose their jobs. He also assured in writing that a committee would be appointed that would look into the future prospects of the staff. “He has done what we had been asking for,” M K Ghoshal, general secretary of the AAI workers’ union, said, adding “Patel has given us the assurance in writing.”

About 22,000 striking workers of the AAI had earlier threatened to continue their four-old day after security personnel used force to thwart the protests by the employees near the domestic departure terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport at noon.

“The staff of the AAI had gathered at the airport for a meeting when they were attacked by the police,” Ranvir Singh, regional secretary, North workers’ union AAI, said adding, “the demonstration would continue.” The staff members were to consider the assurances given by premier Manmohan Singh.