Monday, December 28, 2020

Air India staff protest pay cut, demand arrears ahead of privatisation

Mumbai: Air India staff unions are protesting what they call an 'unfair' pay cut and have demanded continuation of medical benefits and payment of arrears before privatisation of the company takes place.

While the pilot unions have asked their members not to undertake extra duties, Air India Employees Union (AIEU) has sought a meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on issues such as payment of arrears, leave encashment, and continuation of medical benefits. The AIEU also wants continuation of welfare facilities such as free tickets and amenities such as housing, transport, and canteens to continue after privatisation, said General Secretary Parag Ajgaonkar.

On Saturday, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association and the Indian Pilots Guild issued a directive to their members to not extend their duty time in order to protest the pay cut.

"We have been very patient in the face of mounting neglect by the management during Covid-19 and have left no stone unturned to ensure smooth flight operations continue. The top management, however, has seen it fit to heap discrimination against us under the guise of the ongoing pandemic by unilaterally imposing draconian pay cuts on pilots, while absolving itself from any fiscal responsibility towards the national carrier or its front line employees. This pathetic 3 per cent decrease in the gross cut on our emoluments is the final straw," ICPA General Secretary T Praveen Keerthi and IPG General Secretary Kanav Hingorani wrote to their members.

28/12/20 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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