Air India Strike Declared Illegal

May 26, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
Foreign travelers wait with their luggage for information on Air India flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on May 26, 2010.  (Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images)
Foreign travelers wait with their luggage for information on Air India flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on May 26, 2010. (Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images)

A strike by 15,000 Air India crew members, which began on Tuesday, was stopped on Wednesday after a Delhi high court declared the strike illegal. The crew was protesting a "gag order" and delays in salary payment.

Leaders from two unions, representing 50 percent of the employees, said their reasoning for the strike was an order from management not to tell negative things to the press following a deadly plane crash on Saturday.

In response, India's Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told Indian media, "You should understand: The order dates back to July 2009 and was only reiterated on May 24."

The state-run airline has met with financial losses over the past few years, and signs of the losses were evident in recent months. Seventeen crew members have been fired as a result of the strike, which canceled or diverted 140 flights and affected more than 30,000 passengers. Flights have now resumed and are expected to return to their normal schedule within four days.