The workers of Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL) have come out in opposition to the decision to hand over the ground handling charge of Thiruananthapurman airport to a foreign agency.
Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services Limited (SATS), a foreign private company, have signed a joint venture agreement for providing ground handling services and the latter is in the process of taking over ground handling from Air India in most of the airports in the country.
The AIATSL workers have declared that this is not acceptable. They have pointed out that Thiruananthapuram airport is not a metro airports. The Air India management has brought AI-SATS handling to Thiruananthapuram airport before it has taken shape in the metro airports in the country.
AIATSL, a wholly owned subsidiary company of the national carrier, had started ground handling in various airports in the country since 2003.
Most of the staff working with AIATSL here have put in a service of three to seven years and are professionally qualified in the areas of flight handling. However, the Air India management is now forcefully asking the AIATSL staff in Thiruananthapuram to resign and join AI-SATS. The workers have decided to oppose this tooth and nail.
It is alleged that the Singapore-based company has started conducting walk-in interviews without announcing the vacancies or the posts. Undergraduate freshers without any previous airport experience are being recruited without any proper guidelines. The AIATSL workers are pointing out that the qualified, experienced and trained personnel are being replaced by lesser qualified hands in the ground handling service. The workers have opposed the handing over of the assets of the government of India to SATS. These include building, coaches, vehicles, and various other equipment used for ground handling.