Salary Cut May Affect Air India Summer Operations

Tuesday, 15th April 2014 at 10:26am

The plan by Air India to slash down by 15% of the pilot's monthly salary was met by sharp criticism by the airline's pilots union.

The salary cut will definitely affect, the union warned, the airline's operations this summer if the management will push thru its plan. Summer is usually the peak season for the country's aviation travel industry.

According to the union, the salary cut will further affect their overall take-home pay since 2012 when the airline similarly implemented salary slash-down for its pilots by 25%. The planned 15% cut was viewed as a political strategy of the present administration to sow problems for the incoming new government which will likely privatize some of the biggest state-owned enterprises in the country including Air India.

The union argued that the salary cut proposal will likely spur labor unrest among its pilots that would greatly affect the airline's operations, making it less attractive to prospective investors.

The airline spokesperson, however, made it known that the management has not come up yet with its final decision whether or not to carry out the plan. He said, though, that the management will conduct a series of meetings with the pilots before the proposal can possibly be implemented.

The troubled state-owned carrier is no stranger to pilot strike since its merger with another state-controlled Indian Airlines in 2007. In 2012, a group of pilots from the pre-merger Air India staged a 58-day long stand-off accusing the newly-merged airline of discrimination against them in terms of career advancement in favor of the pilots coming from Indian Airlines. As a result, 101 of the striking pilots were suspended and their union, got banned from employment in the airline. The airline also incurred a loss of Rs500 crore during the 58-day strike which was the longest in four decades.

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