Sunday, May 23, 2021

Losing 3 colleagues to Covid in 5 days, Air India pilots asks airline to show it cares

New Delhi: Numbed by the demise of three colleagues due to Covid within a span of five days, Air India pilots have asked their management to have HR policies that show “our loved ones will be looked after by our company should the worst happen to one of us (in the line of duty.” During the pandemic, a significant number of frontline workers, including pilots, across airlines have lost their lives to Covid. Divestment-bound Air India, which has been at the forefront of the Vande Bharat Mission since last summer, has seen many casualties.

Citing examples of IndiGo which “covers a deceased pilot to the sum of Rs 5 crore” and several central and state government schemes compensating families of frontline workers who have lost their lives in the pandemic, the Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) has asked AI management: “Are not AI employees rightly eligible for something similar?… why can’t the flag carrier create and provide something similar?”

IPG, a union of erstwhile Air India (pre-merger days with Indian Airlines) pilots, wrote to the management on Saturday saying: “Nationwide, public sector undertakings (PSU) have policies in place for such tragedies. Ex-gratia payment and compassionate employment being the most common. Why is Air India the only PSU that is relatively complacent towards compensation in the case of the death of an employee?”

23/05/21 Times of India

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