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Union gives strike notice over unpaid salaries to Mumbai airport management

Mumbai: With no salary payments in the past few months, one of the workers' unions at Mumbai airport has issued a strike notice to Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) on Monday. If the issue isn't resolved in two weeks, the union, with aerobridge operators, electrical/lighting maintenance workers, cargo drivers as its members, can then legally strike work according to a report published in TOI.

The notice, given under Industrial Disputes Act by the Hawai Karmachari Sena, said that permanent employees haven't been paid salaries for two months and contractual staff haven't got full salaries for 6 months and they haven't got salary slips for eight months. Sources said Mumbai airport employs about 20 different contractors for varied jobs. The letter added that a certain contractor "openly threatens staff with termination from job if they ask for pending financial dues". The union demanded immediate release of salaries with interest and risk allowance.

Other unions at the airport have decided to wait a bit longer. "We spoke to the MIAL CEO last week about pending salaries and were assured of payments in the last week of September. We are positive the issue will be resolved soon," said Sarwar Mohammed, general secretary of Airports Aviation Employee's Union which has about 2,800 members, including 1,400 who are permanent MIAL staff. "The employees have been very patient in spite of hardship due to non-payment of salary for 3 months... their resilience however cannot be taken for granted by management," said a letter sent on Monday, seeking an answer on the date when salaries will be paid. MIAL spokesperson was not reachable.