State-owned Air India's recent proposal to slash its allowances for pilots and other employees hasn't gone down well with a section of its workforce, especially some senior pilots, who have raised objections to the proposed plan of the airline.
The management of the airline had on April 6 sent a notification to its staff seeking their consent on its plans to 'slash the allowance by 15%.'
If the notification received no objections, the proposal would be implemented on April 27, 21 days after it was initially floated, according to a staff of the airline who received the letter.
So the pilots have 21 days to respond to the notification after receiving the letter.
At present, flying allowance comprise of about 70% of a pilot's salary, who are guaranteed a flying allowance for 72-80 hours. Air India has however proposed to reduce this to 70 hours.
Some of the pilots who are unhappy with the notification belong to the group which operate narrow-body aircraft like Airbus-320s on domestic and selected international
The total pay packet for a commander in this category ranges between Rs 4-5 lakh a month, while a co-pilot gets between Rs 2-3 lakh a month.
Executive commanders of wide-body aircraft, whose monthly pay packet could fall by close to Rs one lakh to around Rs 7.5 lakh, will also be affected by the proposed allowance cut. Senior wide-body pilots, who fly on international routes, get around Rs 6-7 lakh, while the co-pilots have a package of Rs 5-6 lakh. “The senior pilots will be the most affected lot,” said a pilot with the airline.
Pilots associations in the airline like Indian Pilot's Guild and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has lashed out against the new structure. Indian Pilot's guild was unrecognized by Air India management after 2012 strike by pilots.
“They have issued a note to the pilots on the recommendations of the Dharmadhikari Panel Report which includes appellation of lay over allowance and slashing their flying allowance from earlier guaranteed 72-80 hours to 70 hours,” said Jane Cox, advocate for Indian Pilots Guild.
The Bombay High Court had in January apart from ordering the status quo to be maintained on the implementation of the Dharmadhikari Committee Report also upheld the applicability of Section 9A of Industrial Dispute Act in this matter. According to Section 9A of Industrial Dispute Act, 'No employer, who proposes to effect any change in