Pay parity delays spur IA pilots strike

Salary delays are also a sore issue with pilots

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | February 5, 2011



Indian Airlines pilots, aggrived by frequent delays in remittances of salaries and a wide gap between their pay and that of the pilots of Air India, are planning a stir to highlight their plight.

The pilots' interests body Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) passed a resolution on Friday on the pay parity issue saying, "The management should implement the agreement of 2006, Memorandum of Settlement dated 30.11.2009 and implement parity with immediate effect failing which the CEC and REC have been given the mandate to take all necessary actions deemed fit with, including a strike.”

The above resolution was passed after a general body meeting of ICPA, eastern region was held on February 2 in Kolkata. The committee called the talks with ED (IR) and GM (Ops) futile and passed the resolution unanimously threatening to go for a strike if required. 

The IA pilots have since long been begrudged an equal pay with their Air India counterparts though the two airlines were merged in 2007.

Pilots of the erstwhile IA are threatening to take "any action" unless their salaries are matched with the AI scale of pay. The pilots allege that their counterparts in Air India, AI Express and the expats serving the airline get almost 30-50% higher salaries than them.

An IA pilot says, “Our financial planning is very disturbed as we have to bear heavy financial losses. The management has cheated us by breaching memorandum of settlement of November 30, 2009. They have not been able to keep their words and various deadlines to resolve the pay parity issue have already lapsed.”

In another letter written to Air India chief Arvind Jadhav, ICPA has said, “Since both the airlines are merged, salary and allowanced of all pilots of erstwhile IA and AI should be paid by one single agreement of AI without any discrimination”.

The piolts are also agitated over the delays in payment of salary. With the remittances being pushed to February 10, this would be the second time that the pilots' pay has been deferred this month.

Initially, there was no information of the delays.  But later they were told that the pay could be credited in their accounts by February 7. But now they were told about the further delay in their salary.

ICPA has written to the airlines ED (Industrial Relations) on Thursday demanding for a justification for withholding of the salary.  ICPA president captain A S Bhinder termed the repeated delays “unfair labour practice”. Referring to the Memorandum of Settlement on 30th Nov, 2009, he told the ED in his letter, “The said Memorandum of Settlement does not provide for any exception, deviation or relaxation from the absolute obligation to at least make timely payment of salary. Without prejudice to this, it is submitted that even the justification given is vague and stereotypical as it is a mere replication of previous office orders on deferment”.

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