HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The warning was issued by at least 900 protesting pilots
  • The pilots have placed their demands before Air India authority Rajiv Bansal
  • The demands circulate around an “illegal” 55% wage-cut, however, the protestors have put forward other demands as well

On Thursday, at least 900 pilots from Air India have issued a warning of “industrial action” against the organization if their due payments are not cleared off soon. The protestors are mostly affiliated to the two representative groups of pilots, namely the Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) and the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA).

A pay-cut of 55%, conducted by Air India, is being considered to be “illegal” by the protesting pilots. They have placed a demand of payments as per the standard rates to the higher authorities. The demands include other issues such as provision of leave encashment, medical benefits for permanent employees, gratuity statements, etc.

According to the pilots, they gave “more than enough time” to their organization to resolve the issues. In a letter which came on November 17, the pilots wrote, “It is inexcusable that even now, when we are in the 11th and a half hours before the disinvestment process (is completed), there is not even a concrete roadmap, let alone a satisfactory resolution.”

A pilot involved with the protests have stated, “The shareholders’ agreement has been signed, the Tatas have to fully take over the company and start flying by January 22, 2022, and service conditions are already being adversely challenged…Yet, the management’s silence on our service conditions and arrears is deafening.”

In a letter which was placed to Rajiv Bansal, who was earlier the chairman and managing director of Air India and currently serves as the civil aviation secretary to the company, the pilots have written, “This state of affairs is no longer tenable. If we do not seek justice through ‘industrial action’.”

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