Air India in trouble again over proposed plans to slash allowance

Apr 10 2014, 19:03 IST
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The total pay packet for a commander in this category ranges between Rs 4-5 lakh a month, while a co-pilot gets between Rs 2-3 lakh a month. (Reuters) The total pay packet for a commander in this category ranges between Rs 4-5 lakh a month, while a co-pilot gets between Rs 2-3 lakh a month. (Reuters)
SummaryAir India had recently proposed to slash allowances for pilots and other employees...

the conditions of service applicable to any workman in respect of any matter specified in the Fourth Schedule, shall effect such change without giving to the workmen likely to be affected by such change a notice in the prescribed manner of the nature of the change proposed to be effected.'

“Though the management is officialy saying that our allowances will be slashed by 15%, in reality, if the notification is implemented pilots could get as much as 40% lesser salaries,” said a senior pilot with the airline, under the condition of anonymity.

“We have raised our objections with the senior management, after meeting a senior official of the airline on April 8. He assured us that whatever decision is taken will be done with consultation with us,” the senior pilot said adding, “If the consultation process turn sour, hundreds of pilots could resign.” Air India's total staff bill for 2013-14 stood at around Rs 3,200 crore, of which over Rs 1000 crore  is  earmarked for pilots, a senior official of the airline had earlier told FE.

The proposed slash in the allowances across the board would help the airline to save over Rs 250 crore annually.

At present the state carrier has about 25,000 staff in its rank including about 1600 pilots.

Meanwhile, when contacted an Air India spokesperson said that the proposed cut in allowance, if implemented, will be applicable for all employees of the airline.

“The proposals by the management are in accordance to the market standard. Also, we are currently discussing this issue with the pilots and other employees,” he said, adding, “We will not take any decision without the consent of our employees.”

Air India expects to narrow its net loss to Rs.3900 crore for 2013-14, as compared to about  Rs 5,100 crore in 2012-13. According to a senior Air India official, the airline currently has a total debt close to Rs.44, 000 crore, half of which is aircraft related. Out of the balance nearly Rs.18000 crore represent long term working capital loans.

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