National carrier Air India is allegedly punishing a large section of its cabin crew personnel who refused flight duties last week citing non-payment of salaries and layover allowance.
On Monday, the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA), AI’s cabin crew union, wrote to Anup Srivastav, executive director (customer services), seeking an explanation on why flight attendants who participated in the protest were being grounded.
“Many flight attendants who had expressed their inability to operate flights owing to shortage of layover allowance were dropped from the roster this morning,” said an AICCA member requesting anonymity.
Layover or sustenance allowance is paid to the crew towards petty expenses such as meals and laundry during official trips abroad.
The protest over pending allowances had resulted in disruption of flight schedules between March 20 and March 24 as up to 700-cabin crew personnel shunned flight duties. The crew ended the protest on March 24 after the airline management gave them a written commitment to clear layover allowance and salaries for two months.
“If our demands were not justified, why did the airline agree to it?” asked another AICCA member. An airline spokesperson did not respond to Hindustan Times’ query on why the cabin crew was being punished.
Since close to 700 cabins crew participated in the protest, it is not clear how the airline plans to replace them. “Flight movement is likely to be affected since we comprise more than half the cabin crew strength in the airline,” said a crew union member.