Unpaid Kingfisher Airlines employees shoot off angry letter to former liquor baron
Employees of defunct carrier Kingfisher Airlines on Sat urday wrote an angry letter to its chairman Vijay Mallya, saying his “heart is impure“ and that he has “blood on his hands“.Mallya had recently resigned from United Spirits Ltd (USL) as chairman. Diageo-owned USL offered him a severance package of $75 million (`515 crore). This led Kingfisher’s lenders to appeal to the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) to restrain the payment so that they get their dues first. Thirteen lenders led by the State Bank of India have also approached the Delhi High Court, appealing that Mallya be arrested and his passport impounded.
Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines shut operations in 2012 due to problems of credit and cash, leaving over $2 billion in debt, over 1,000 employees jobless and with salary arrears of over `100 crore.
Below are edited excerpts from the letter:
Dear Mr Mallya
We are compelled to write this letter to you not only as Kingfisher employees but also lawabiding tax payerscitizens of India. Please also note that this lettter is addressed not only to the chairman of KFA (Kingfisher Airlines) but also to an industrialist as well as an MP who represents our country.
We have been in pain and agony due to your apathy towards us. It was particularly aggravated by your recent callous “no regret“ remark about KFA; for us, KFA still exists as we are still on the payrolls, although without pay, as we never received any communication from you, after you promised revival, about the shutdown of the company and our fate… People like you start a company with our own money, exploit the system and wind up operations without even an iota of shame. We are still not able to understand what you meant when you said “I don’t have money to pay your salaries“, while the spree continues. Be it the Caribbean Premier League or a new yacht.
You are able to walk away scot-free due to the depressing fact that the whole rotten system abets people like you… As you don’t have regrets, it’s also important to highlight how much damage you have caused to the image of our country, particularly the aviation industry; because of your frauds upcoming airlines are finding it difficult to get aircraft on lease from the leasing companies.Some of the leasing companies found it very hard to recover their aircraft while some of their aircraft have reduced to nothing more than junk. Everyone knows that you… won’t be able to spend all the wealth that you have earned, then why not at least pay the salaries of your employees?
Please do have regret and don’t set precedents dangerous to our country and aspiring entrepreneurs.