Your Ad Here Your Ad Here

Jackson fans' tribute at Apollo

Friday, October 17, 2008

India's Jet Airways reinstates sacked employees

New Delhi - India's top private airline, Jet Airways Ltd, has reinstated its sacked employees, saying they could report to work from Friday, two days after its decision to retrench the employees sparked a public outcry, news reports said. Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal on Thursday night apologized to the employees for the "agony" they went through and said he couldn't bear to see "tears in their eyes."

"I have not been able to sleep all night when I saw what happened," Goyal told reporters at a press conference in the western city of Mumbai on Thursday night.

"I apologize for all the agony you had to go through for two days. You can all come back to work from Friday. We have decided to take back all the employees," Goyal was quoted as saying by the NDTV news channel.

On Tuesday, Jet announced it would lay off more than 800 employees after forming an alliance with India's second biggest private carrier, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. It later said it would retrench another 1,100 employees.

The 1,900 employees made up nearly 15 per cent of the airline's total staff and aviation experts said the retrenchment was aimed at curtailing losses caused by declining air travel and high fuel costs.

All the sacked employees - cabin crew, pilots, ground staff, airport services and management department - were either probationers or had served in the company for less than six months.

The move led to an outcry. Angry employees met political leaders, pleading with them to save their jobs. Some political parties were critical of the decision, demanding that Jet reinstate the employees.

But Goyal said the decision had not been prompted by political pressure but by his own conscience. He claimed that the Jet management had not consulted him before taking the decision.

"I am not doing it under any political pressure. This is my personal decision as the father of the family," an emotion-charge Goyal said, adding, "They (employees) are like my family. I cannot see them unhappy."

Meanwhile, state-run aviation major Air India on Thursday said that it was planning to offer nearly 15,000 of its employees leave without pay for up to five years.

Air India chief Raghu Menon said that a voluntary leave scheme under which employees could go on leave for three to five years was being planned.

India, Asia's second-fastest-growing aviation market, has seen a fall-off in the sector since early this year as most of its airlines recorded losses.

Costlier ticket rates because of high fuel prices along with a slowing economy have hit demand, forcing airlines to cut costs and quit operations on loss-making segments.

The airlines posted a cumulative loss of 938 million dollars for the financial year ending March 2008.

Civil Aviation Ministry officials have said the losses could double to 2 billion dollars this year, almost a third of the estimated 2008-2009 global aviation losses.

No comments: