Hunger Strikers Protest Indian Airport Plan

Workers at two of India`s busiest airports have gone on hunger strike in protest at government plans to privatize New Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay).

There has been no disruption to flights as the labor action is limited, although a union official has warned the dispute could escalate if the government does not listen to their concerns.

The leader of the Airports Authority Employees Union, Nitin Jadhav, said around 10 workers at each of the country`s 125 airports planned to go without food and water every day for the next eight days.

However, there could be a walk-out later this month with union members threatening to go on mass casual leave on September 26 unless the issues are resolved.

Mr Jadhav said that the AAI got 70 percent of its income from the Mumbai and Delhi airports and the Government intended to privatize only the profit-making airports. After the privatization, the AAI would be left with only loss-making airports.


Last week, the government said it wanted to attract private investment for the two airports to bring them up to world class standards.

India`s Civil Aviation Minister, Rajiv Pratap Singh Rudy, has tried to allay the strikers` fears saying that none of the employees would be retrenched in the event of privatization.