Taking their fight against the airline's management to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's door, two Air India unions have sought a CBI probe into the state-run carrier's losses and bringing those responsible to book.
In a letter to the Prime Minister last week, two Air India unions -- All India Service Engineering Association and Air India Employees' Union -- have also alleged "trampling" of employees' rights by a "dictatorial" management in the name of the Turnaround Plan (TAP).
"We conclude our appeal to your good self by a requisition to constitute a CBI enquiry for the losses of Air India and bring the culprits to book," the unions said in the joint letter to the Prime Minister.
"Under the name of cost cutting and to meet targets of the TAP the management in the last three years has been extremely dictatorial and has trampled over the rights of the employees which defy every rule in law books," they said.
"With a ray of hope in the wake of change in the government, we the employees of Air India look up to you for positive revolutionary changes in the Aviation sector, especially Air India. While many new private carriers came in and have made profits, Air India remains one of the biggest loss making airlines in the Indian skies," the letter said.
The unions claimed that "wrong policy decisions of the previous Government, poor practices, lack of accountability and general mismanagement by top administration and allowing private carriers to flourish at the cost of Air India were some of the factors for the current state-of-affairs.
"We wish to put on record that devoid of any sensitivity analysis conducted before merging and integrating approximately 30,000 employees of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines, all are frustrated/disgruntled and our morale today has reached an all time low," they claimed.
Maintaining that the employees "are not averse to accepting changes in their working conditions unless the same are proposed in a legitimate manner," they also demanded restoration of their rights of negotiation and representation, besides repayment of 25 per cent "unilateral" deduction from emoluments in the past two years.
An intense inter-union struggle is going on across 14 unions in the state-run airline since a four-member panel headed by former Labour Secretary Krishna Mohan Sahni recommended restricting the number of recognised unions in the carrier to three.