Eleven Air India pilots started a hunger strike this week to protest disparities in pay and career advancement for former union members. About 400 pilots have been on strike since May. They were members of the India Pilots Guild, which has been de-recognized by the government. The airline has refused to reinstate about 100 pilots who held offices in the union. "They have the right to go on hunger strike. It will be good for their health," Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told IBNLive.
The 11 pilots have declared they will fast "indefinitely," according to IANS, and are seated on a stage in the heart of New Delhi. "Our protest is for the reinstatement of our sacked colleagues and for the recognition of our union," Rohit Kapahi, of the pilots guild, told IANS. Singh has invited the striking pilots to return to work, and said the sacked pilots would be reinstated on a case-by-case basis.