Demanding the central government's intervention in the Air India strike, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday condemned the national carrier's decision to slash the wages and productivity-linked incentives (PLI) of its pilots.
"The country knows that Air India incurred losses due to wrong policies of the government and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. It is ironical that instead of making the minister accountable for the present state of affairs of Air India, the pilots and workers are made to suffer," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in a statement.
"Instead of taking any action against the minister, the government has allowed Air India management to hold (the) staff responsible for the present mess in Air India. This is the worst injustice heaped upon the workers who are still working honestly," he added.
The beleaguered carrier had decided on Wednesday to slash the productivity linked incentives of employees by 25 to 50 per cent as part of its cost cutting measures. However, the affected pilots did not accept the management decision and demanded that it be revoked.
The airline's current debt is about Rs 16,500 crore and its losses stood at Rs 7,200 crore in fiscal 2008-09 that ended March 31.
The BJP spokesperson further said: "(The) BJP demands immediate withdrawal of pay cuts imposed upon pilots and others."
The party also demanded a white paper on the reasons for the present financial status of Air India.
Meanwhile, Air India Sunday began talks with a section of striking pilots in Mumbai. The bulk of the agitators across the country are adamant that the productivity-linked incentives be restored.