It is a policy which goes against people’s interest and is anti-national, says a joint platform of 10 Central trade unions.
A joint platform of 10 Central trade unions on October 13 came out against the recently announced sale of Air India to the Tatas, saying that the government’s move was akin to gifting the national carrier to the company.
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In a statement, the unions said the government sold Air India for an amount that was too low compared to “what has gone into building it up for decades”.
“This is a gift back to the Tatas on 75th year of Independence after its takeover by the government in 1948 followed by its nationalisation in 1953. Several lakh crores was infused from national exchequer to expand its asset base, huge fleet of aircraft and properties, both in the country and abroad,” the unions said.
The unions said the deal would mean that the government would absorb ₹46,262 crore of the ₹67,000 crore debt of Air India, but “the assets created by such debt will be handed over to the Tatas in lieu of only ₹18,000 crore”.
They said the sale would be against public interest and pointed out that it was Air India that air-lifted Indians back home during the Gulf War as well as those stranded due to COVID-19.
“It is Air India that was used in helping people in natural disasters like earthquakes, heavy floods, avalanches in hill areas etc. It is…a policy which goes against people’s interest and is anti-national. The trade unions committed to the cause of working people and the common masses would intensify their resistance in national interest,” the statement read.
The platform comprises the Centre of Indian Trade Union, the All-India Trade Union Congress, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the All-India United Trade Union Centre, the Trade Union Coordination Committee, the Self Employed Women’s Association, the All-India Central Council of Trade Unions, the Labour Progressive Federation and the United Trade Union Congress.