Jet staff blame Modi government, lenders for crisis

NEW DELHI: Faced with delay in payments of salaries and prospect of joblessness, employees of now-grounded Jet Airways on Thursday blamed the Narendra Modi government and lenders for the collapse of the airline.

Hundreds of airline staff from across departments gathered at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital to appeal the government to do ‘something’ to revive the carrier.

“Government should have handled it better. Timely intervention by providing emergency funding could have saved the airline,” said Sonal Gupta, who works as security supervisor in the airline.

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Gupta has not received salaries for the last two months and is finding it tough to pay for her children’s school fees.

Most of the agitating staff said they were asked to take leave without pay.

Another employee, who works in the engineering department claimed that lenders are to be largely blamed for the crisis.

“First they promised to provide Rs 1,500 crore. Then they said they would give interim funding of Rs 1,000 crore. In the end they refused to give any interim support,” he said, wishing not to be named.

Most employees said their seniors have asked them to take leave without pay to pursue hobbies and spend quality time with family.

“We have nothing to do now. Security and engineering departments have third parties to serve. We have nothing to do until flight starts,” an executive said.

Jet Airways has about 16,000 employees on the rolls of the company while another 6,000 people work on contractual basis.


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