Pilots’ bodies request urgent meet with Hardeep Singh Puri over wage cut
The Indian Commercial Pilots Association and the Indian Pilots Guild on Monday wrote to Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri requesting an urgent meeting regarding wage cuts of frontline workers, including pilots, of Air India, Air India Express and Alliance Air.
The pilots’ bodies said that frontline workers continued to be shackled with an ‘indefinite and unilateral wage cut’ of up to 70 per cent while the top management faced only a 10 per cent deduction. The letter reiterated the civil aviation ministry’s statement where it expressed confidence that air travel would reach pre-coronavirus pandemic level by the end of 2020 and pointed out that while other airlines were rolling back the austerity pay cuts for their pilots, Air India increased the wage cut for its pilots from October. The bodies also added this was unfair to the pilots of Air India and its subsidiaries.
“Pilots who test positive for Covid-19 need to undergo quarantine/hospitalisation. This has to be followed by a NOC, mandatory medical checks and DGCA approval. The entire process to get back to flying takes more than a month. Is it fair to deny these pilots their livelihood due to an occupational hazard? Is this how MoCA wants to treat the workmen who are making the Vande Bharat flights possible,” it said.
The bodies further highlighted that the top management had let it down ‘tremendously’ and urged the ministry to intervene immediately and put a stop to this victimisation.
Air India has been the Centre’s official carrier for the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ - under which Indian citizens stuck in other countries were being evacuated and brought back home amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
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