Jet engineers on go-slow, force flight cancellations

MUMBAI: Even as its senior executives are reported to be in Abu Dhabi to further negotiate with Etihad on the proposed stake sale to the Gulf carrier, Jet Airways engineers are on a “go-slow” mode following the failure of talks over wage hike and arrears, sources said.

Following this, the airline had to cancel two flights from Chennai to Madurai and Coimbatore, they said.
The engineers’ move comes weeks after a section of the airline’s technicians registered their protest on the same issue by sporting black bands.
“A section of engineers are on a go-slow mode as their negotiations with the management on wage hike and arrears failed,” Jet Airways sources said.
If more engineers join the protest, it may have a bearing on the operations in a big way in the days to come, airline sources added.
The Jet Airways spokesperson was not available for comments. The engineers’ action comes amidst the airline’s ongoing talks with the Gulf-based Etihad for a stake sale, which has been going on ever since the government allowed FDI in the sector in September.
The labour unrest, led by pilots and engineers, had been brewing at the carrier for the past one month or so, demanding wage hikes and payment of their arrears, pending since 2011.
However, the pilots have so far refrained from resorting to any industrial action to press for their demands.
The airline had last month signed a wage hike tripartite agreement with its employees and officers association, which claims to be representing around 7,500 ground staff, including officers, giving them a salary raise of up to Rs 18,000 per month.
Meanwhile, a Jet spokesperson said on Thursday evening that the airline had to cancel two flights from Chennai in the morning for engine repair and not because of lack of engineers.