Indian Commercial Pilots' Association in a statement on Monday expressed resentment against any further wage cuts and said that it will not be in the interest of Air India.
"Any unilateral change by Air India from agreed-upon wage settlement would be illegal and will not be in the interest of our National Carrier at this crucial juncture. Such a situation has the potential to flare to an unprecedented magnitude," the statement read.
Amid pandemic, the cash-strapped airline has proposed a massive- nearly 60 per cent cut in pilots’ gross salary and to send stewards and air hostesses on compulsory leave without pay.
Pilot unions — Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association and Indian Pilots’ Guild — have alleged that the airline’s management has proposed a 60 per cent pay cut for pilots on a retrospective basis while suggesting a meagre 3.5-4 per cent cut in salary of the top management. The unions have also alleged that pilots have not been paid 70 per cent of their pay since April 2020.
In a letter to Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rajiv Bansal, the two unions stated that while they were willing to negotiate a pay cut in line with current market conditions, it needed to be equitable across the board so that those drawing high salaries take deeper cuts than those in low pay grades.
“We are being compared to one of the leading low-cost private carriers and worst conditions are being cherry-picked to our disadvantage,” IPG general secretary Kanav Hingorani said.
However, the airline management claimed that it is the civil aviation ministry (MoCA) which directed the pay cuts. As a result, pilots have sought an appointment with the minister of MoCA to return the appreciation handed to them by the Prime Minister for continuing to fly through the lockdown.
The cabin crew union, too, is up in arms over the compulsory leave scheme, terming it a smokescreen for retrenchment via a back door. All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) in a letter to the management said they record a strong protest at the issued circular.