AI to pay salaries by Oct 31 after pilots warn of stir
With an impending stir threat by its pilots, Air India is likely to pay the September salaries of its employees in two days and incentives and allowances by November 10, airline sources said.india Updated: Oct 30, 2009 02:16 IST
With an impending stir threat by its pilots, Air India is likely to pay the September salaries of its employees in two days and incentives and allowances by November 10, airline sources said on Thursday.
Talks were held with banks and financial institutions for working capital loans to arrange the amount for payment of salaries, productivity-linked incentives (PLIs) and flying allowances to the employees including pilots, they said.
Sources also said the management of the cash-strapped airline was making all efforts to pay the dues of the employees very soon, including the salaries by October 31 and PLI and allowances by November 10.
Talks with the banks were initiated after negotiations between executive pilots and their other colleagues in Mumbai over the past few days.
As the negotiations failed to yield any result, the executive pilots as well as the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) threatened "industrial action" if the issue was not resolved soon.
While September salaries are due, the PLI and allowances of the three months-- August, September and October-- that constitute 90 per cent of the pay packet, would be due on November 1.
Meanwhile, Air India spokesperson in a statement said, "AI is in discussions with financial institutions to secure additional funds to meet its current liabilities including payment towards salary and PLI to employees."
He expressed confidence that efforts to avail additional loans may succeed in a couple of days enabling the airline to pay PLI and flying allowances by November 10.
The airline's senior pilots and ICPA representatives met a sub-committee of the Air India Board on Tuesday. The talks did not yield any result with the employees threatening "industrial action" if the issues were not resolved soon.
At the time when Air India was recovering from the impact of the five-day long stir by the pilots, the sub-committee led by AI CMD Arvind Jadhav held negotiations with the pilots.
The pilots adopted a tough stance and rejected any wage cut proposed by the management, maintaining that they were not responsible for the financial losses of the company.
They asked the management to phase out expatriate pilots who, they claimed, were being paid "higher" than their counterparts in India. The foreign pilots were also "kept out" of the national carrier's cost-cutting plans, they said.
Alleging "step-motherly treatment", they claimed the "cash crunch" the airline was facing "meant only for the Indian pilots who were getting half the salary of an expat".