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(Representative image: AFP)
New Delhi: Air India (AI) has cut its cockpit and cabin crew salaries with retrospective effect from April 1, 2020 until further orders. While the cash-strapped airline management says the cut is around 40%, crew members say it is much higher with the pilots and is said to be around 85%. AI has a monthly salary bill of Rs 230 crore and did not say how much savings are expected from the move.
“As per an office order issued by AI GM (Industrial Relations) Meenakshi Kashyap,” it has been decided to rationalize the allowance of employees, as per the directions of the Ministry of Aviation and the approval of AI’s board of directors.
Employees with a gross monthly salary of Rs 25,000 have been spared any deduction. For pilots, the order has 11 allowances – including a majority of the total salary – such as a 40% reduction in flight allowance, special pay, detailed body allowance, check allowance and trainer / examiner allowance.
“Flying allowances paid on actual hours flown by an individual pilot in a month. However, as a special case, all pilots available for flight will be paid 20 hours of flight allowance or actual, whichever. Be higher during a month. Q1 and 2 of the financial year 2020-21 at the revised flight allowance rate, “the order states.
For cabin crew, the order states that checks, standby, flying, wide bodies, domestic layovers and quick return allowances will be reduced by 20% and will also be paid on actual flying hours.
AI executive (senior-most) pilots wrote a letter to the airline’s chairman Rajiv Bansal, opposing the steep cuts. Retrospective action to deny an employee up to 85% of his or her correctly earned wages for work already done, which in any case is longer. The hourly rate is reduced by 50% and the fixed hours are reduced from 70 to 20 hours, that is, 70%. Together, they reduced our current salary by 85%. This is for missions that were important to the nation. On what basis can such gross injustice be explained? “His letter says.
“During the initial months of the epidemic in India (March, April and May 2020), while the country dealt with a nationwide lockdown and most citizens lived safely home with their families, we proceeded to do our bound duty. We are not only our citizens, but also citizens of other countries… In these uncertain times, while the virus is still an unknown and feared enemy, we expose ourselves and our loved ones to COVID-19 for our country and its people. Continue to do, and because we firmly believe it is our moral obligation to do so. ”
The pilots spoke of facing “many more severe social and domestic pressures” in the discharge of their duties in the epidemic. “… We have flown and still continue flying for a long time in a state of utterly uncomfortable suffocation donating PPE kits, and in constant fear of risk. We have also been subject to repetitive and invasive medical examinations and are harassed by residents in areas where we reside to fly to other countries … Many AI pilots have contracted the virus while on duty. In line, “executive pilots have reported. Airline management.
Finally, the pilots have requested the management to “rectify this gross injustice”.
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