Sunday, September 27, 2009

Strikes galore

And now it is the turn of Air India pilots to go on strike. Any strike causes some dislocation in daily life atleast to some sections of society. Therefore, our tendency to blame the people going on strike is natural, though sometimes misplaced. There is a common link among the recent three strikes namely of the pilots of Jet Airways, IIT teahing staff and Air India pilots.

The reason why these strikes materialised is the inept handling by the managements and HRD Ministry. In Jet Airways, some pilots were unceremoniously and summarily sacked without conducting any enquiry and apparently for unlawful reasons. The HRD Ministry failed to respond to repeated requests of the teaching staff for discussions. Mr.Kapil Sibal's public pronouncements of his readiness to discuss coupled with his (deliberate ?) failure to get in touch with the faculty only added insult to injury. It was totally ham-handed. The management of Air India unilaterally effected reductions in allowances payable to pilots. There was no discussion with the pilots before imposing salary cuts.

In all these three instances, principles of natural justice were given the go-by. If only these situations had been handled with tact and reasonableness by the managements and the HRD Ministry, strikes would have become unnecessary. Arrogance is a human failing; it cannot be a business strategy.

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