Sunday, July 02, 2017

Why is Air India attempting to gag its former employees?

A warning issued by Air India on June 21 in which it asked its retired employees not to criticise the national carrier in the print and electronic media, social media and on social messaging apps is unprecedented, said senior airline personnel and its former employees.

The warning was issued through an office order signed by an executive director and approved by Air India’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani. The order said that those who violate these directives would be denied the post-retirement facilities that the company extends to them.

The order said:

“It has been noticed in the recent past that few retired personnel of Air India are tarnishing the image of the company by posting negative remarks about the company on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and also electronic and print media. It is unacceptable that a person who is availing post retirement facilities like passage, medical, etc from Air India talks against the company.

“Retired personnel may be requested to refrain from posting any negative statement about the company as mentioned above. Retire personnel who make such negative comments with the intention of tarnishing the image of the company will themselves be responsible for cessation of their post retirement facilities.”

Though Air India did not refer to any specific retired personnel in the order, senior airline officers who did not wish to be identified said that it was primarily targeted at two retired senior officers, who have been vocal in their criticism of the national carrier in the media and on social networking sites over the past 18 months.

“There are people who have spent more than two to three decades in Air India and held important positions but they did not raise any questions during their service period,” said Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, explaining why the order was issued. “But after retirement, they started defaming the national carrier.”
02/07/17 Abhishek Dey/