KF Episode : Employees call off strike

KF Episode : Employees call off strike
Highlights

The agitation was called of after the second round of meeting with CEO Sanjay Agarwal Mumbai (PTI): The...

The agitation was called of after the second round of meeting with CEO Sanjay Agarwal

Mumbai (PTI): The employees of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, who were on a hunger strike, called it off this evening though airline chairman Vijay Mallya reportedly expressed inability to pay salary arrears.

The agitation was called of after the second round of meeting between the employees and airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal, sources said. Earlier on Friday, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya told his agitating employees, who began a hunger strike, that he did not have money to clear their salary dues.

"I don't have the money to pay your salary dues, because I cannot use the proceeds from the United Spirits-Diageo deal for this due to an injunction from the Karnataka High Court," Mallya reportedly told the striking employees.

The employees of the grounded airline have been on a hunger-strike since Thursday at the Kingfisher House here seeking salaries which have not been paid since last August. However, Mallya told the employees that the airline's chief executive Sanjay Agarwal would hold meetings with them.

The employees said that the meetings with Mallya earlier did not yield any results and that they would continue with their hunger strike. Last November, Mallya clinched a deal with British liquor major Diageo to sell majority 53.4 per cent stake in United Spirits for Rs 11,166 crore. The deal also involves Mallya selling 19.3 per cent of his personal/promoter holding in United Spirits to Diageo for a consideration of Rs 5,742 crore.

Kingfisher employees were expecting Mallya to bring in funds from the proceeds of the Diageo deal.Driven by mounting losses, the airline, which never made any profit since inception in May 2005, has remained grounded since last October and the regulator DGCA cancelled its flying licence in December.

"As many as 60-70 employees are currently on an indefinite hunger strike at the Kingfisher House near the domestic airport," sources had said last evening.

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