Guarding against penal action by the Air India management against the pilots, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) on Friday passed a resolution that if any pilot is targeted by the management, he will be compensated through contribution.
“It has been hereby resolved by the CEC of the ICPA that if any pilot/s, irrespective of the grade, is targeted by the management, the affected pilot/s will be financially compensated by way of equal contribution,” the ICPA resolution said.
“The said compensation will be either the last drawn pay or immediate senior’s pay, whichever is higher. The compensation payout will continue till such time the affected pilot/s are reinstated or employed as a pilot. Legal expenses, if any, will also be covered by the ICPA. This resolution will be in force for a period of five years with immediate effect,” the ICPA said.
The ICPA has been raising several issues with the Air India management on the pay cut issue.
Air India pilots have told the management that while austerity measures are heaped on the pilots, the senior officials and management are enjoying lavish perks like free club memberships, scores of leased cars, and hundreds of liters of free fuel every month, and there has been no cutback.
In a letter to Rajiv Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, the pilots’ associations said, “It is not only unprincipled for the senior officials to exclude their perks, eligibilities, and entitlements from the austerity measures, but also irrefutable proof that the intent of the management’s cost-cutting measures is to further the agenda of abusing employees under the guise of this epidemic.”
In a letter, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association and the Indian Pilots’ Guild said that for the past few months, it is being said that Air India’s finances are in dire straits, there is no money coming in from the government and drastic cost-cutting is required else the airline will have to shut down.
“However, this doomsaying seems to be reserved for pilots alone. To date, the management is yet to come up with a meaningful austerity measure that even dents the perks and privileges being enjoyed by the senior Air India officials,” the letter said.
The pilots said that the factors of redundancy and efficiency as per the compulsory leave without pay scheme should first apply to the officials of the senior management from 2016, who are directly responsible for the bungled decision making that has seen Air India’s losses mount year after year.