NEW DELHI: Hundreds of unpaid employees of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the recovery of their dues which was estimated to be around Rs 300 crore.
"On behalf of all the employees of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines, we request you for your immediate intervention in helping us recover our hard earned dues," the employees said in the letter sent to Prime Minister today.
Kingfisher Airlines had started its operations in 2005. Two years later it had acquired the then low-cost Air Deccan. It was grounded in October 2012 by its chairman Vijay Mallya due to non-availability of funds.
It lost the flying permit in December 2012.
According to the letter, there were about 7000 direct as well as indirect employees who were affected by the closure of Kingfisher Airlines and majority of them cannot even afford to fight it out in the courts.
The employees, in the letter lamented that the issue such as unpaid salaries and statutory dues like Provident Fund and gratuity of them was lost in the war of words between the Government and Opposition over Mallya leaving India, in the middle of probe into the massive loan default by him.
Mallya owes a consortium of 17 public sector banks an amount close to Rs 9,000 crore. The Supreme Court had issued a notice to Mallya on a plea filed by the consortium, including State Bank of India, seeking to prevent him from leaving India and impounding his passport.
"It was encouraging that our respected Members of Parliament in both the Houses did raise and discuss the issues related to Kingfisher Airlines but it was equally disheartening to see that not a single word was mentioned for the sufferings that we the employees are going through," the letter stated.
"The employees are being hounded by income tax notices although the tax default in this case is from the side of Kingfisher Airlines," it said.
"Our present laws which were supposed to protect the employee's interest have become redundant and are failing to solve the purpose that they were meant to serve," the employees said in the letter.
The letter said "the employees had tremendous faith in Modi as well as in his government," and expressed hope that their appeal will not go in vain.