People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 12

March 19, 2006

CPI(M) Against Unilateral Decision On Airports Privatisation


Following is the text of the letter addressed to the prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, by the CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat, on the issue of airports privatisation on March 13, 2006


AS you are aware, the agitation of employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) led by AAI Joint Forum against privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports was withdrawn on  February 4, 2006 in response to your appeal and on an explicit assurance from the minister of civil aviation to form a Tripartite Committee comprising representatives of the ministry of civil aviation, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Joint Employees Forum. I understand that in his letter of assurance dated February 4, 2006, the minister had clearly spelt out that the committee would “look into the issues and proposals of modernising airports by the AAI and employee related issues”. 


I am sure, you will appreciate that the above issues should be clinched in the Tripartite Forum “to assuage the feeling of the employees”,  as stated in the aforesaid letter by the  minister of civil aviation. This will also be in line with the Common Minimum Programme mandate of “no confrontation in labour-management relations but consultation, cooperation and consensus”.  Unfortunately, no meeting of the  Tripartite Committee has been held so far though the committee has been asked to give its report in three months.  I, therefore, strongly feel that the decision of the government to handover Delhi and Mumbai airports to private parties should be  kept in abeyance till the report of the Tripartite Committee is finalised. Keeping in view the strong opposition of the employees, as the major stakeholder of AAI, the government should not take a unilateral decision on change of management which can adversely affect industrial relations.


I hope you will act in the matter.