Air India pilots warn of industrial action if demands not addressed in 3 days

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Air India pilots have given an ultimatum of three days to the Air India management to meet their demands

Air India pilots have given an ultimatum of three days to the Air India management to meet their demands. In a letter to the aviation secretary (also Air India Chairman and managing director- Rajiv Bansal), sent on Monday evening, the pilots warned that if they do not see the illegal pay cut and related issues being addressed within three days, they will seek justice through industrial action.

The letter was written by the airline’s Airbus’ union- Indian Commercial Pilots’ Guild (ICPA) and Boeing pilots union- Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) which represent over 900 pilots. It read, “International passenger services to/from India started from December 15th, 2021, and all airlines are rolling back the COVID cut, if we do not see the issues related to an illegal pay cut of 55% and the plethora of longstanding disinvestment issues addressed within three days we will have no choice but to seek justice through industrial action.”

These pilots have been writing to the airline since October but they haven’t received a reply.

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 have 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.

“Tatas have to fully take over the company and start flying by January 22, 2022, and here we have no communication on our pending dues. Media reports suggest that the airline’s closing date will be just next month. How much more are we expected to sit quietly?” an airline said on condition of anonymity.

Another pilot said, “We are thrilled that Tatas will soon begin to operate the airline but the current management seems to be turning a deaf ear to us. This is a great matter of concern to us and hence we seek an urgent response,” said a senior airline pilot.

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