Jet Airways facing some headwinds on the labour front, has given a wage hike of up to Rs 18,000 to its around 7,500 ground staff, sources said today.
The decision comes amidst reports of its pilots meeting in Delhi on Friday to discuss wage hike and long-pending arrear issues with the management.
The Naresh Goyal-promoted airline, which is on the verge of closing a stake sale deal with Etihad, has already signed a tripartite agreement with one of its employees unions, the All India Jet Airways Officers Association, they said.
"The salary hike, which is effective retrospectively from April 2011, is in the range of Rs 10,500-18,000 per month across categories," a union leader told PTI here.
The association, which changed its affiliation to the Nationalist Congress Party in 2011 by dumping the Shiv Sena, claims representation of 7,500 employees out of the nearly 13,000 workforce of the carrier.
Sources also said that the NCP leaders played a major role in the wage settlement negotiations.
The wage agreement is expected to benefit around 7,500 ground employees which include reservation staff, cargo, cabin, ground service, security among others, they said.
The settlement with the management was reached after intense negotiations over 20 months, sources said, adding, "it will be effective till March next year (2014)."
As per the agreement, wages of the A1 category employees have been raised by Rs 13,000, Grade A2 by Rs 11,750 and those in Grade A3 will now get Rs 9,750 more per month.
Similarly, the salary of Grade A4 have been hiked by Rs 8,750 and that of Grade A5 by Rs 8,750 per month.
"Besides, other allowances such as the one for night shift, service pay for those completing 15 and 10 years respectively, meal allowance etc have also been hiked substantially, giving a total hike to these employees in the range of Rs 10,500-18,000 per month," sources said.
The last time Jet signed a wage revision with employees was in 2010 for three years - FY 11-13 - but it failed to meet the obligation, citing recession in the industry and only gave an adhoc hike of Rs 3,500 a month, they said.
"The arrears arising out of the wage revision for April 2012-January 2013 will be paid in two tranches next fiscal. But, the company will not pay any arrears for the April 2011 - March 2012 period, as it had already given an interim hike of Rs 3,500 per month at that time," the leader said.
Meanwhile, the airline's technicians who were on a symbolic protest by sporting black bands against management's proposal to freeze wage hikes for the next three years, have called off their agitation and agreed to come on to the negotiation table on February 7, he added.