Alleging that the working conditions at Air India are “hostile”, the union of the airline pilots have sought Tata Group and Air India Chairman N Chandrasekaran’s intervention to address their grievances. Back in January, Tata Group took over the loss-making Air India. The two pilot unions — Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) – have alleged that despite their unwavering support for the growth of Air India, the management has not responded in the same manner.
The two unions represent the pilots flying wide-body aircraft while (ICPA) represents those operating narrow-body planes.
In a letter to the Tata Group chairman, the pilot unions wrote: “We wish to draw your attention to the unethical treatment vetted to the pilots at Air India that has left us completely demoralised. (There are) hostile working conditions (and) pilots are intimidated to accept flights with total disregard to the Air India FDTL scheme due to shortage of pilots.”
There has been no immediate response from the airline on the issue.
A few days ago, the pilot unions raised concerns about the shortage of pilots.
In the letter on Monday, the unions said that captain and commander grades for pilots are long pending and promotions are carried out for other employees, which leads to a loss of pay for the junior pilots. The letter read that an “absence of fixed flying allowance leads up to an 80 per cent pay cut for pilots under training or license renewals by external agencies.”
The pilot unions said their complaints have remained unheard so they have been forced to take their issues to the Air India chairman.
“For the last nine months, our member pilots have kept aside their concerns of health, fatigue, and work-life balance and flown well beyond their stipulated hours, only to be denied their rightful overtime payment and basic minimum payment guarantee that safeguards their monthly income while undergoing license renewals, visa, and airport pass processes, training, sickness,” they said.
“We have given the management every benefit of the doubt as well as ample time to redress our issues, but the duality of the management continues unabated… we urge you to intervene and put a stop to this victimisation. In this, you are our last and singular hope,” the unions said.