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Strike by Air India pilots illegal: Ajit Singh

In the midst of the talks with the Air India management, its pilots have started taking sick leaves because of which flights have been cancelled

New Delhi: Terming the strike by Air India pilots as "illegal", Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Tuesday said the management of the national carrier would take appropriate action against those involved in the stir, reports PTI.

Mr Singh said the pilots went on sick leave in the midst of their talks with the management of Air India which has led to cancellation of flights.

Four Air India international flights from New Delhi and Mumbai were cancelled this morning after about 100 pilots refused to join work.

"They are reporting sick. They have not given any notice for any strike. So whatever the Air India management rules and regulations, action will be taken accordingly," Mr Singh told reporters.

"In the midst of the talks with the Air India management, they (pilots) started taking sick leaves because of which flights have been cancelled. If their talks with Air India have failed, they could have spoken to the Ministry or to me. They (pilots) have number of well-wishers," he said.

Noting that Air India is currently undergoing a turbulent period and crores of public money is being infused to run the carrier, Mr Singh said every section has grievances and that there are ways to find a solution.

"Strike is illegal. There is a way to launch a strike. Every section has grievances and problems. But there are ways," he said.

The Minister stressed that the pilots should come to the negotiating table and resolve their issues through dialogue but not launch any strike. "They can raise their voice, but it is important to continue the talks," Mr Singh said.

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