Air Traffic Controllers right from the beginning have been subjected to grave and irreparable injustice and Air Traffic Controllers' Guild (India) as an all India body of ATCOs have been regularly submitting their requests (demands) from 1990 onwards but without any success. The Guild gave various notices of agitation but the same were not implemented by the Guild in view of the importance of Air Traffic Services for the country and also with a hope that their problems will be heard and solved. In view of the aforesaid and uncooperative and negative attitude of AAI, the Guild submitted a charter of Demands on 1st May 1995 asking for rationalisation of the service conditions of ATCOs commensurate with their job responsibility.
The matter in the Court - dispute - discussions
However, instead of addressing to the problems of ATCOs, the AAI filed a suit for perpetual and mandatory injunction in the Honourable High Court of Delhi restraining the ATCOs from resorting to agitation and also sought intervention of Chief Labour Commissioner. It was agreed on 7th June 1996 before the Labour Commissioner that AAI would negotiate all issues with regard to said service conditions with the Guild to arrive at an amicable solution. Similarly during the proceedings of 6th January 1997, Honourable Delhi High Court also advised AAI to negotiate the matter with Guild and settle the issue.
Refusal by AAI to discuss & negotiate the matter
Despite these instructions Airports Authority of India refused to discuss or negotiate the issue with Guild. On 24th January 1997 ATC Guild submitted a revised Charter of demands keeping in view the changes since 1995. After intervention from Minister of Civil Aviation Airports Authority of India had a meeting with ATC Guild on 4th Feb1997, and asked for two months time to reply to the demands of the Guild.
Frustration of ATCOs
Having seen such an unbearable treatment being meted out to the ATCOs the Guild lodged a strong protest and demanded that the conditions of service of the ATCOs shall be as per their Charter of Demands which is based on the Recommendations of ICAO and ILO. All ATCOs in the employment of AAI, submitted through ATC Guild (India) to the AAI, that they do not wish to join AAI, unless AAI agrees to make terms and conditions of their service as per their Charter of Demands, and that their service to Airports Authority of India will cease after 31st March, 1997.