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Indian Airline Pilots Prevented From Pursuing Job Action

Court Says Strike Is 'Illegal'

Over 100 pilots for Air India represented by the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) have been prevented from walking off the job by a ruling from the Delhi High Court.

The pilots are protesting training in Boeing's new Dreamliner which has been rescheduled, as well as issues with their career progression. A 'sick-out' caused Air India to cancel four international flights Wednesday, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

The ruling issued Wednesday by Justice Reva Khetrapal called the strike "illegal" and ordered the pilots back to work. The judge also said "The pilots are also restrained from reporting sick, staging demonstrating, holding dharnas, or resorting to any other modes of strike in and outside the petitioner company, including its offices in Delhi and outside, and also around airport." The court said an ongoing strike could cause "irreparable injury" to Air India.

The airline earlier this week fired 10 pilots who called in sick after it was announced that Indian Airlines pilots would get training in the Dreamliner before IPG pilots. Air India ordered 27 787s in 2006, and the two airlines merged in 2007. The first airplane is expected to be delivered this month. Air India pilots said they were more experienced, and should be first in line for the training.

In issuing its order, the court said that IPG failed to give the 14 days notice required before people employed by a "public utility" go on strike, which made the action illegal under the Industrial Disputes Act. (Air India B777 file photo)

FMI: http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/

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