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Air India pilot unions say will go to 'any extent' if any member is fired

Unions reject revised salary structure airline offered on April 17

Air India

Deepak Patel New Delhi

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Air India's two pilot unions on Monday warned that if any member is fired for not signing the airline's revised service agreement they will go to "any extent" to reinstate their colleague.

The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) last Friday sent a legal notice to Air India, alleging that the airline had been coercing its members to sign the revised service agreements individually.

In a joint resolution on Monday, the ICPA and Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) said, "If any member/s of our unions is/are terminated by the management for not signing the revised terms and conditions, the ICPA and IPG have pledged in unison to go to any extent to protect the member/s till they are reinstated."

On April 17, Air India announced a new salary structure for pilots and cabin crew, doubling the guaranteed flying allowance for pilots to 40 hours. In addition, pilots will receive a service reward based on years of service, while other allowances will be increased and a new travel policy proposed. Pilot unions have expressed disappointment with revised salary structure.

Air India's HR team had sent emails to individual members of the ICPA on April 16 and 17, stating that each member was being promoted to the position of "senior commander," which would make them eligible for a monthly "management allowance" and "management duties."

When members did not e-sign the revised service agreement, they were sent a reminder on April 20. The HR team stated that the revised service agreement would remain valid until April 24.

"The members of the ICPA do not want to be forcibly promoted to the management cadre and wish to retain their current designations and roles, and coverage under and protection of labour law. The so-called ‘promotion’ is merely a smokescreen to remove the members from the category of ‘workmen’, and consequently from the protection of all labour law, and therefore, is utterly illegal and cannot be foisted on them unilaterally," said the legal notice.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 3:51 PM IST

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