Air India pilots seek restoration of pre-COVID pay; says harshest hit in domestic market

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Air India pilots seek restoration of pre-COVID pay; says harshest hit in domestic market

Mumbai, May 3

Seeking the restoration of their pre-COVID-19 month-to-month pay, Air India’s pilot physique ICPA has mentioned its members proceed to be “punished with the harshest and longest-standing pay cuts in the domestic market”.

In yet one more letter to Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) mentioned the assurances given by the minister in the previous acted like a bulwark in opposition to the alleged apathetic behaviour of the Air India administration in the direction of the pilots throughout these attempting occasions.

“However, more than 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we find it quite demoralising that even your office has not addressed any of our grievances,” the ICPA mentioned in the letter on Monday.

Last April, disinvestment-bound Air India had lower its pilots salaries by an enormous 55 per cent to cope with the liquidity crunch in the wake of the pandemic.

It, nonetheless, restored 5 per cent wages from the whole discount final December, nonetheless leaving their salaries 50 per cent decrease in comparison with the pre-pandemic occasions.

“The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the nation with out mercy.

“We have painstakingly apprised you of our plight under the vicious and illegal pay cut instituted by the Air India management (more than a year old now) through numerous representations and meetings,” the pilots’ union mentioned.

It mentioned the pay lower continues regardless of its members enterprise the longest, most difficult and most numerous missions underneath the Vande Bharat scheme.

“Now, to compound our woes, this deadlier second wave has gripped the country requiring travel restrictions on Indians worldwide due to the elevated risks of infection.”             

“The quantity of passengers and crew testing constructive for COVID-19 has elevated fourfold, and consequently, the speed of infections has shot up drastically for the Air India pilots and in addition for our relations.

“It was already an uphill task to arrange timely medical support like hospital beds and oxygen cylinders for our increasing numbers and now, the situation is becoming chaotic,” it mentioned.

Stating that the pilots haven’t even been categorised as frontline staff regardless of having been on the frontline from day 1, the letter mentioned: “Ironically, we were the first to get a pay cut but are the last to be considered for vaccination.”       

In the letter, the pilots additionally voiced their concern over the growing frequency of the Vande Bharat Mission flights, which has, in flip, elevated their workload and the ensuing danger of getting “infected/disabled”.

“If we cannot get the support from management and the ministry that we deserve, the least that can be done is to restore our rightful wages so that if the worst comes to pass, we can provide for our family’s immediate medical needs and future well-being,” the ICPA mentioned. PTI

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