Employees of Air India’s subsidiary Air India Express have given the notice to the CEO to go on an indefinite strike from January 15 demanding faster approval for their requests, posing a new challenge for Tata Group in its Air India takeover. Over 500 cabin crew members from the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) are expected to strike, crippling the operations of Air India Express aircraft.
Employees of Air India Express demand to issue a five-year contract extension for cabin crew members, similar to the five-year contracts granted to other departmental employees.
“The actions of the management in reducing the contract period of the cabin crew members of the Company from five years to one year, whilst at the same time according five-year contracts to other departmental staff and new recruits are unjust.,” said Vijaykumar K. K., President of AIXEU (BMS) in a strike notice to Air India Express CEO.
Demands of Air India Express Employees
According to Air India staff, this arbitrary move of the management to limit the employment contract period is hostile and injurious to the cabin crew members of Air India Express. "They have given everything in service of the nation at a time when they are already experiencing salary cuts and a scarcity of flying hours," AIXEU said in its notice.
In addition to the current income drop, the cabin crew will be unable to fly for nearly a month, resulting in additional financial losses until the new Airport Entry Pass is issued.
It also requests that the company’s management promptly comply with the Court of State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities’ order and make efforts to allow a crew member Basil to join the company.
According to the crew members, the management has not adequately addressed the concerns of the female employees in the organisation, which also has to be addressed. The management has to ascertain that there are no unreasonable delays in the processing of career advancement and contract renewals.
Air India Express Employees Union further demands to take actions to end the management Pilot’s authoritarian and arbitrary methods. They also request management to follow transparent procedures while recruiting members.
Interestingly, cabin staff of Air India Express make over 70% of the organisation. If the Air India strike goes as planned, several aviation operations will be harmed.