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Jet Takes U-Turn; Reinstates Sacked Employees

Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal has said the company has reversed the decision to lay off 1,900 sacked employees. Goyal added that his decision (to take back the employees) has been welcome by the Labour Minister among others and has nothing to do with political pressure.

Jet Airways had sacked 1,900 employees on Wednesday to curb costs in the wake of the challenging environment the aviation industry faces. The move came two days after Jet Airways and rival private carrier Kingfisher Airlines had announced a code-sharing alliance as a cost-cutting measure. The layoff had triggered sharp criticism in political circles and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) demanded that Jet take back the laid-off employees. The sacked employees had also gone on a strike in Andheri, Mumbai, demanding their reinstatement.

Goyal said that the Jet management had taken the decision without his knowledge.

“My management did it on the basis of some economic conditions as the whole industry has been going through a difficult period. They worked out only the economics. Since I am the head of the family, it means I am the father of the family. My conscience does not allow me to just look at the economics,” said Goyal. “I apologise for all the happenings and everything that the Jet employees and their families went through.”

"When I saw what happened last morning (the strike by the employees), I could not sleep. I did not speak to anyone. I cannot see that the employees are unhappy," Goyal added.

"I am sure you as a family will find ways and means and sit down to get together to see that these are the ways we can continue," he stated in an appeal to the sacked employees, adding that together they would find ways to improve and structure the company and be able to survive.

"I request all the employees to report back to work from tomorrow," Goyal said, adding that, "I am confident that my family will see how they will plan and adjust. I have told them to decide the steps that will keep the business on. Cost-cutting will have to be done and help from the government will also be needed."

Goyal also made clear that the synergy with Kingfisher was another issue. "That (Kingfisher) alliance is a separate issue."


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