Air India pilots union calls for reinstatement of wages before airline privatization
NEW DELHI The pilots of the national carrier Air India have written to the management of the airline demanding the reinstatement of wages, saying that the “disproportionate” wage cuts made in the past 18 months should be reversed with the end of the pandemic of covid-19.
This development comes at a time when the government is in the final phase of selling its total stake in the national carrier Air India, its subsidiary Air India Express, and a 50% stake in the ground handling company Air India SATS Airport. Services Pvt. Ltd (AISATS).
“With the advent of the pandemic, our stopover living allowance has been drastically reduced to about a third of its original amount, resulting in a reduction from 60% to 70%. In addition, our flight allowance was reduced by 40%. This was only in theory. In practice, this decrease fell from 70 to 80% due to the significant reduction in the number of flight hours allocated to each pilot “, indicates a letter written by Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), an airline union made up of pilots. the operation of widebody airplanes.
The letter was addressed to the president and CEO of the airline, Rajiv Bansal, who took over the secretariat of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) from October 1.
“It is imperative to remind you once again that the above two cuts hit us badly, our total emoluments having been reduced by over 60% compared to the rest of the workforce who had the luxury to work from home during the pandemic and yet benefited from the benevolence of a slight pay cut of 10%, “the pilots’ union said in the letter.
A copy of the letter has been reviewed by Mint.
The pilots’ union also criticized airline management for its decision to remove the “full board” facility, which provides all three meals to pilots during national or international stopovers.
“Note the irony of the situation where the company at one end believes the threat of Covid is abating, and yet acts otherwise when it comes to restoring our legitimate pay,” the pilots’ union added in the letter.
As it stands, the Air India divestiture process is in its final phase.
Bloomberg had reported on Friday that Tata Group had won the bid for Air India.
However, hours later, the secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam), Tuhin Kanta Pandey, said the government had not yet made a decision on who to bid for the company. air, adding that the winner would be revealed as the government makes a decision.
Tata Group and Ajay Singh, the chairman and managing director of SpiceJet Limited, had, in their personal capacities, made financial offers for the airline.
Meanwhile, in the letter to Bansal, IPG pleaded with management to reverse the pay cut before the divestiture process was completed.
“Eighteen months later, we point out once again that the pay cut has been disproportionately applied to pilots. It is shameful that despite our continued support and with the continued recovery of the airline industry ‘Aviation, our salary ranges continue to be reduced and our base facilities continue to be withdrawn, ”IPG said in the letter.
“On the eve of privatization, it would be right to end the injustice and recognize our members’ unwavering support for the airline, MOCA and the Indian passenger. We strongly urge you to reverse this salary cut and immediately restore our right to the salary structure, ”IPG added in the letter.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now !!