Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Air India pilots seek restoration of pre-COVID pay; says harshest hit in domestic market

Mumbai: Seeking the restoration of their pre-COVID-19 monthly pay, Air India’s pilot body ICPA has said its members continue to be “punished with the harshest and longest-standing pay cuts in the domestic market”.

In yet another letter to Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) said the assurances given by the minister in the past acted like a bulwark against the alleged apathetic behaviour of the Air India management towards the pilots during these trying times.

“However, more than 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we find it quite demoralising that even your office has not addressed any of our grievances,” the ICPA said in the letter on Monday.

Last April, disinvestment-bound Air India had cut its pilots salaries by a massive 55 per cent to deal with the liquidity crunch in the wake of the pandemic.

It, however, restored 5 per cent wages from the total reduction last December, still leaving their salaries 50 per cent lower compared to the pre-pandemic times.

“The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the country without mercy.

“We have painstakingly apprised you of our plight under the vicious and illegal pay cut instituted by the Air India management (more than a year old now) through numerous representations and meetings,” the pilots’ union said.

It said the pay cut continues despite its members undertaking the longest, most challenging and most diverse missions under the Vande Bharat scheme.

04/05/21 Tribune

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