AI pilots to meet aviation secretary to discuss demands

Air India pilots had, on November 29, given an ultimatum of three days to the airline’s management to meet their demands and warned of “Industrial Action” if their paycuts and arrears were not duly paid before the takeover.
Senior Air India officials said the meeting with representatives from both the pilot groups on December 3 was inconclusive. (HT File)
Senior Air India officials said the meeting with representatives from both the pilot groups on December 3 was inconclusive. (HT File)
Published on Dec 06, 2021 12:16 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Air India pilots on Sunday announced that they will meet aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal, who is also the chairman and managing director of the airline, on Monday to discuss their demands of payment clearance before the airline is handed over to the new owner, before taking a decision on going on a strike.

“Talks with management along with @PilotsIndian regarding 60% pay cut only for Licensed employees, inconclusive. Meeting management (CMD/ SECY MOCA) tomorrow to find a peaceful resolve. @MoCA_GoI @TataCompanies @RNTata2000#peacefulresolution,” the Air India’s Boeing pilots’ union, Indian Pilots’ Guild, tweeted on Sunday.

Air India pilots had, on November 29, given an ultimatum of three days to the airline’s management to meet their demands and warned of “Industrial Action” if their paycuts and arrears were not duly paid before the takeover. The letter was written by the airline’s Airbus’ union — Indian Commercial Pilots’ Guild (ICPA) and Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) that represent over 900 pilots.

“We are firm with our decision of industrial action. We are meeting our CMD with a hope that he will have a definite solution to our issues. We sincerely hope that the airline doesn’t not force us to take the extreme decision,” a senior pilot said on condition of anonymity.

In their previous letters, the pilots complained that they are burdened by the “illegal pay cut” of 55% and demanded to be paid as per market standards. Mentioning their long-standing disinvestment issues, the pilots also demanded the withheld 25% arrears with interest, statement of gratuity, an option of leave encashment, medical benefits for all permanent employees, tax implication on withheld layover substance allowance, and release of pending grades to first officers.

Senior Air India officials, however, said the meeting with representatives from both the pilot groups on December 3 was inconclusive. “The management was informed that we are aware of Air India’s revenues going back to pre-Covid levels and that most pilots are working more than they did pre-Covid. The management asked us to hold on till the takeover. However, both unions warned of serious consequences if the issued was not solved,” said a senior pilot.

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Monday, January 24, 2022