Mumbai: The Air India management and its unions today failed to reach an agreement on a wage cut as a majority of employees opposed any revision.
“The meeting with the management went on till the early hours of today but ended without any agreement on the issue,” Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) Regional Secretary, Vivek Rao said.
The Air India management had called a meeting with its unions yesterday to discuss its proposal of slashing its employees’ productivity-linked incentives (PLIs)/flying allowance by 50% as a part of its turnaround plan.
“There are other ways and means to turnaround the company than slashing employees’ wages,” Rao said.
“We are opposed to any cuts. We are, however, ready to sit across the table on other issues such as wasteful expenditure which would have an impact on company’s finances but wages,” he said.
Air India pays around Rs1,400-crore as PLI to its employees which it wants to bring down to Rs700-crore in order to curtail its mounting losses.
Manpower expenditure constitutes the second-largest component of the airline’s operational costs after aviation turbine fuel bill.
“We have submitted our proposal to the Prime Minister on the turnaround plan. In our view, a wage cut is not a solution and we will continue to stick to our stand,” Rao said.
There are 14 unions in National Aviation Company of India Limited, which is the holding company formed after the merger of Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines.
While ACEU and Aviation Industry Employees’ Guild claim the support of a majority of employees in Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines, the All India Cabin Crew Association claims the support of some 3,500 personnel.
Engineers and technicians apart, pilots in the two carriers have also their respective unions.