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'Retrenchment in a New Name': Derek O'Brien Criticises Air India's Leave Without Pay Scheme

File photo of TMC MP Derek O'Brien. (File photo/PTI)

File photo of TMC MP Derek O'Brien. (File photo/PTI)

Air India Thursday said it has started the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to five years.

TMC MP Derek O'Brien has slammed Air India over its scheme to send employees on leave without pay for up to five years, saying the move violates labour laws and is an "obvious ploy" to protect the top management and sacrifice other workers.

"Retrenchment in a new name," he tweeted about the move.

Air India Thursday said it has started the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for up to five years.

"Air India's compulsory leave without pay scheme is unprecedented in history of Public Sector Undertakings. Obvious ploy to protect top management and sacrifice employees. Move violates labour norms, is anti-worker and arbitrary. This is match-fixing for proposed AirIndia buyers. Retrenchment in a new name," the MP tweeted.

The airline's board of directors have authorised its Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal to send employees on LWP "for six months or for a period of two years extendable up to five years".

"If top management is bloated, why sacrifice employees? No worker has sought this scheme. It denies workers rights, right to life and livelihood. Shocking that a PSU would use and throw employees in the face of a pandemic when 150+ Air Indians tested Covid +ve doing Vande Bharat Mission," tweeted O'Brien, who is also the leader of the TMC in Rajya Sabha.

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