In what will have far-reaching implications for the aviation industry, senior Air India captains and commanders have been removed from the workmen category, taking away their right to form unions or strike work.
A notification issued by Air India on Thursday said the ministry of labour and employment had issued a clarification regarding differentiation on categories of pilots in the airline — pilot in command (PIC) and co-pilots.
“The duties and responsibilities of PIC are of managerial and administrative nature and may not fall under the workman category under the Industrial Disputes Act,” said the notification issued by executive director Deepa Mahajan.
“This would have implications for not just AI but entire industry,” said aviation expert Rajji Rai. An official said: “Many captains are members of AI’s only pilot union and will have withdraw.”