Maintaining and certifying an aircraft at an airport for flying is one of the tasks of a line maintenance engineer.
A section of employees of Air India’s engineering subsidiary AIESL is on a “tool down” strike since Saturday over non-revision of wages and delay in payments, a source said. However, since these 1000-odd employees are engaged in the base maintenance of aircraft and engines, their agitation has not impacted the airline’s operation even a bit, the source said.
Set up in 2013 as a separate subsidiary, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) provides maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services, both line and major (base) maintenance, to various type of aircraft of Air India group’ besides to third party airlines as well as to the defence forces. “Our wages have not been revised for three years as we are contract employees. At the same time, the company is delaying payment of wages to us for about a year now.
Therefore, to press for demands our people are on a ‘tool down’ strike at the Nagpur MRO and at its engine overhaul shop since Saturday,” said the source. He also claimed that the contract employees from other bases have also joined the agitation from Monday and added that there are around 1,000 employees who are agitating. “However, so far it has not impacted Air India’s operations as we are engaged in base maintenance and not line maintenance, ” the source added.
Maintaining and certifying an aircraft at an airport for flying is one of the tasks of a line maintenance engineer. When contacted, an Air India spokesperson said that some AIESL employees have sent “unsigned” letters to the management “threatening a strike”.
As much as 90 per cent of AIESL”s revenue comes from the Air India group, which has a fleet of over 170 planes.