The Indian Pilots Guild and the Indian Commercial Pilots Association have directed Air India pilots not to give any extension on 'Flight Time', 'Flight Duty Time' or 'Landing' till further notice. In a letter to their members, the associations said that the hostile work environment prevailing in the company for the last few months has significantly increased the mental pressure on the pilots. "Active mitigation is now unavoidable to keep flight operations safe," the letter said.
Informing the management of their decision, the Air India pilots said in a letter to R.S. Sandhu, Director (Operations), Air India, "This is to inform you that we will no longer extend unconditional cooperation while the top management continues to mock the dignity of our profession."
"We have been very patient in the face of mounting neglect by the management during Covid-19 and have left no stone unturned to ensure that smooth flight operations continue. The top management has, however, seen it fit to heap discrimination against us under the guise of the ongoing pandemic by unilaterally imposing draconian pay cuts on pilots while absolving itself from any financial responsibility towards the national carrier or its frontline employees," they told the management.
"This pathetic 3 per cent decrease in the gross cut on our emoluments is the final straw. The market is firmly set on the road to recovery and competing carriers are revoking their temporary austerity," the pilots said.
"We are hereby directing our members not to extend FDTL," the pilots told the Air India management.
In an earlier letter, Air India pilots had said that they will be forced to resort to "industrial action".
"We have given the management every benefit of the doubt as well as ample time to redress the issue of a disproportionate pay cut for pilots of Air India and its subsidiaries, so there is no point left in mincing words. If we do not see a timely substantial reduction in this disproportionate pay cut, we will be forced to seek justice through harsher means, including 'industrial action'," they had said.