Amidst the process of disinvestment, Air India now faces a new hurdle of mass resignation from its pilots. Around 120 pilots of Airbus A320 have tendered their resignation after their salary and promotion demands were not heard. “Air India management should listen to our grievances. Our demand regarding salary hike and promotion is long pending before them, but they have failed to give a strong assurance,” ANI quoted an unnamed pilot who submitted his resignation.
The pilots claimed that they are unable to withdraw their salary on time. Besides, Air India hired pilots on a contractual basis for five years. The contracts tied them to low wages, which remained unrevised for an extended period. According to a pilot, they were hopeful of getting promotion and salary raise once they gain experience, but to no avail.
Airlines are now on a spree of expansion to fill the void left by Jet Airways. This provides several job opportunities for pilots. Airlines such as IndiGo, Air Asia, Vistara, and Go Air have Airbus A320 flights in their fleet.
Meanwhile, Air India management reportedly claimed to have surplus pilots and that it expects the mass resignation to have zero impact on its services.
Air India convenes meeting with Union
Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU) General Secretary J. B. Kadian told BusinessLine that Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani has called for a meeting with the union. The agenda of the meeting is unknown, but he anticipates the talks regarding the privatization of the airline in the meeting. ACEU primarily represents non-technical staff and has about 8000 members, making it the largest union at Air India.
Besides the Chairman of Air India, Kadian expects the presence of Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar and two representatives from other unions to present at the meeting. “Only two representatives per union are allowed in the meeting, and this being a crucial meeting, members of all the unions, including the non-recognized ones, have been called,” Kadian said.