Fifteen hundred Air India (AI) pilots, the highest paid in the industry, will take a pay cut as the Justice Dharmadhikari Committee, formed to look into issue relating to the merger of AI and Indian Airlines (IA), has recommended matching their salaries with industry norms.
Once the committee’s recommendations are implemented, AI hopes to bring down its annual wage bill of Rs 3,200 crore by as much as Rs. 250 crore. The committee, as first reported by HT, has taken April 1, 2007 as the date of merger.
The government has set itself a 45-day deadline for the implementation of the committee report.
“This (employees’ integration) is necessary if merger (in AI) has to succeed, if AI has to survive,” said civil aviation minister Ajit Singh. “The government is giving R30,000 crore. One thing is clear. The government will not give public money any more to AI.”
Recommendations of the committee include uniform pay-scales for all employees, common seniority, salaries as per the department of public enterprises (DPE) guidelines except for the non-executive cadre (pilots, cabin crew and engineers) whose pay scales would be according to industry norms.
Performance-linked incentive, which currently comprises around 65% of an employees salary, will be abolished. The committee has also recommended linking pay to company profits.
In the first sign that integration won’t be easy, AI pilots said in a statement that the report was tailor-made to suit to interests of the employees of erstwhile IA.Singh maintained that the basic salary of employees will be protected.