Monday, February 11, 2019

Air India pilots say flying allowance non-payment causing stress, has direct implications on flight safety

Air India Pilot unions wrote to the company on Sunday saying they are yet to receive December's flying allowance, which consists of around 70 per cent of total salary, and the pilots are working under "stressful conditions" that has "direct implications on flight safety". Flying allowance is paid to a pilot on the basis of the number of flight hours he or she has clocked in a month.
The unions told the airline that since they have not received the flying allowance, they have decided not to accept "changes in (duty) roster and will maintain CMS (crew management system) printed roster already issued for the month of February". "This is to ensure member pilots are not stressed further. Kindly note we are already working under stressful conditions as we are finding it difficult to meet our monthly financial commitments which has direct implication on Flight Safety," read the letter by the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG).
According to airline sources, the monthly duty roster has to be changed at last minute if a flight crew member does not show up because of various reasons such as health issues. In such an eventuality, an employee on standby has to be called in as a replacement, they said. The unions' letter read, "While a majority of employees are paid their remuneration in full including non-flying top management, we, the pilots are yet to receive our Flying Allowance for the month of December 2018 which amounts to approximate 70 per cent of our total pay package."
"This amounts to discrimination and unfair labour practice. Air India being the employer is constitutionally bound to treat all employees fairly and equally," it added. The ICPA represents the pilots who fly the narrow-body aircraft of Air India whereas IPG is the union of pilots who fly wide-body aircraft of the national carrier.
11/02/19 PTI/ZeeBiz

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