Sunday, June 25, 2017

Air India privatisation welcome but clear salary dues first: Pilots

New Delhi: The proposal to privatise Air India is a welcome move but salary arrears should be settled first as promised earlier, feel pilots at the national carrier.

Facing tough financial conditions, Air India had resorted to salary cuts in 2012. Since then, arrears have been accumulating even as certain section of employees accepted revised pay scales.

The arrears to be paid to the 27,000-odd staff of Air India that includes pilots and cabin crew are estimated to be around Rs 1,200 crore. Out of the total amount, about Rs 400 crore is due for pilots, according to a senior pilot.

When Ashwani Lohani took over the reins of the ailing carrier nearly two years ago, he had assured that all pending dues would be paid in a phased manner.

Now, as the government looks at privatisation and other options to revive the airline, pilots want the salary dues to be cleared first before any decision is taken at the highest level amid uncertainty over the future course of action.

"We are looking forward to the privatisation of Air India. We are very pleased by this news and we hope that a professional management takes over. We want to work in an environment where there isn't too much government interference," a representative of the Indian Pilots' Guild said.
26/06/17 PTI/Economic Times

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