Pilots seek meeting with Puri to prove Air India's 'duplicitous' claims


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Air India pilots have sought an urgent meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri "to prove the 'duplicitous' claims of the Air India management and the actual ground reality".

In a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister on Saturday, the two pilots associations-- Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) said, "It is once again evident from your interview on national television channel on July 31, 2020 that some officials from Air India's top management are hard at work peddling misleading half-truths about our wages and the current market scenario. Allow us to reiterate that "We are not being paid as per market standards".

Reiterating the anomaly, the pilots said that in the name of 'rationalisation', the management has not only cut fixed allowances by 40 per cent but also slashed flying hourly rate by the same amount.

"This compounded cut has reduced our wages well below the current market standards. This glaring disparity will exacerbate even more once the flying picks up. The standard industry practice right now is that the total earnings of every employee including pilots have been brought down by 15-35 per cent via fair mechanisms in which the top management contributes from the front", they added.

These multipronged pay cuts on flying allowance are not genuine 'cost rationalisation' for the company or anything resembling market standards. While pilots are made to suffer a 60-70 per cent wage cut, the senior management of Air India continues to enjoy full perks and privileges with the minuscule cut of 7.5 per cent on their gross emoluments as a face saving exercise, the pilots said.

"We are hopeful that the government will not let down frontline workers and their families who stood by the nation through this pandemic while no other airline in the world was operating flights", they said.

"We once again request you to kindly grant us an opportunity to brief you in person with comparative documents to prove the duplicitous claims of the Air India management and the actual ground reality in Air India", the pilots bodies said.

Source: IANS

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