Thursday, July 14, 2022

Now, some SpiceJet pilots give call for ‘mass sick leave’

New Delhi: A section of SpiceJet pilots have given a call for a "mass sick leave" on July 14 to protest against pay cuts at the airline in the past two years.

Pilot sources said that they were unhappy over massive pay cuts the airline continued to impose which amounted to a deduction equivalent of "70%" of their pre-pandemic salary. Pilots also claim that the airline has been deducting contributions towards employee's provident fund and tax deducted at source but was not depositing them with the Employee's Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Income Tax department. Pilots claim provident fund lapses since 2020.

Sources also said that there was anger over several "arbitrary" terminations and forced resignation of pilots at the airline.

Employee sources said that nearly 43 first officers and pilots had reported sick for July 14. The airline has nearly 800 pilots. A SpiceJet spokesperson though denied that pilots had reported sick. It remains to be seen whether this will impact the airline's flights across its network which covers over 50 destinations.

The uproar among pilots follows a rap from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation last week which has served a show-cause on the airline underlining that the airline's weak financial status was resulting in its failure to carry out maintenance and procuring spare parts from vendors resulting in "degraded" safety leading to several mid-air incidents and an accident since April.

14/07/22 Jagriti Chandra/The Hindu

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