AI pilots brief panel of grievances

ICPA places demand for pay parity before the justice Dharmadhikari committee


Sweta Ranjan | July 6, 2011

Various issues plaguing Air India and the grievances of the national carrier's pilots were taken up at a meeting of the justice Dharmadhikari committee with civil avaition ministry officials and members of the pilots' body Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) on Tuesday.

In the three-hour long meeting, ICPA members raised issues like the threat of mass exodus of disgruntled pilots and the violation of memorandum of settlement signed between the airline authorities and ICPA before the chief labour commissioner (CLC) on November 30, 2009. The two parties had agreed that an implementation report will be submitted to the CLC by June 30, 2010 on issues of parity of wages between the pilots of the pre-merger international carrier Air India and the domestic carrier Indian Airlines. The MoS agreements are still pending completion with the AI officials claiming that the merger itself has hindered the pace.

Pilots also highlighted the drastic drop in flying hours post-merger, saying that they had been slashed for the pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines.

ICPA also placed before the commitee the record notes of its meeting with the general manager (operations) in-charge of Air India narrow body on February 7, where the latter maintained that GM office had put up a request for payment of wages for 80 flying hours to the pilots, conforming to the erstwhile Air India's pay rules. The pilots' body placed its demands for an equal compensation structure for perks that are being paid to the pilots of the original Air India.

Calling the merger a failure, the pilots said that the deal's terms were not being adhered to as Indian Airlines pilots were flying wide-body A-330 and narrow body A-320 planes while Air India pilots wereflying Boeing B-777 and narrow body B-737.

ICPA also discussed other issues of short-haul operations with the ministry and committee representatives.

A letter from the airline's chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav to the civil aviation minister was also discussed. Jadhav had noted in the letter dated February 14 that the pilots were justified in their demands.



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