The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Support the Airport Employees Strike
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) extends its full support to the struggle of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees against the privatisation of the Mumbai and Delhi airports. The employees have gone on strike after the UPA government’s decision to handover these two airports to private companies in the name of modernisation.
The manner in which the bidding and contracting out to private consortiums has been conducted has raised serious doubts about the legality of the process. It is shocking that the eligibility criteria has been changed arbitrarily.
The UPA government and the Civil Aviation Minister have taken a conscious decision to privatise airports in India and dismantle the Airports Authority which is a profit making public sector enterprise. There is no other way to interpret the decision to ignore the Airports Authority’s proposal for modernisation of the two airports pending since June 2003 and to handover the running of the airports to private entities. The dismantling of the AAI is certain since 65 per cent of its revenue is derived from these two airports.
The privatisation drive will not be confined to these two airports. Next in line will be Chennai and Kolkata followed by other major airports. There is a concerted campaign to discredit the AAI. Without allowing them to modernise the airports, they are being accused of incompetence in building and running world class airports.
The CPI(M) calls upon all sections of the working class and democratic-minded people to support the struggle of the Airports Authority of India employees.