Air India sets up an independent committee to examine pay parity

Air India sets up an independent committee to examine pay parity

Mumbai: The minister of civil aviation, on Tuesday, approved the proposal of national flag carrier Air India Ltd to constitute an independent committee of experts under a retired judge to look into the issues of pay parity and other related matters between the employees of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines.

A board meeting held on Tuesday in Mumbai decided to constitute an independent four-member committee of experts including Justice (Retd.) D.N. Dharmadhikari as chairman and R. Dholakia, professor at IIM Ahmedabad, Rajeshwar Dayal, director (Retd.) at Department of Public Enterprises as members along with member secretary Syed Nasir Ali.

“The committee will inter-alia examine the principles of integration across various cadres including determination of level mapping and seniority, suggest harmonized working conditions for various categories of employees, examine principles governing the retirement benefits, make recommendations with respect to the parameters of different productivity linked incentive schemes applicable to the employees to bring them in line with competition and other matters relating to harmonization," Air India said in a statement.

The statement said the committee will also look into issues relating to common working conditions, adoption of industry related practices core to the integration process. The Committee will collect information from Unions, Management and other organizations relevant to the study.

The committee will be based at Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi and is expected to deliver its report within five months.

On 18 February, Mint reported that Air India may seek outside help to resolve salary disparities and streamline working conditions for employees.

An uneven salary structure has bogged down the cash-strapped company since it was created in 2007 by initiating the merger of Indian Airlines, which mostly operated domestic routes, with Air India, which until then serviced international routes.

Meanwhile, state-run Air India said the normal operations will continue the Delhi high court restrained a section of pilots from strike starting from 16 March. Air India said the pilots union has accepted a notice by Delhi high court for filing a reply within four weeks.

At least 660 pilots representing pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (Icpa), have threatened that they will go on strike from 16 March, demanding parity on the wage with Air India and timely payment of salaries.

A media statement by Air India quoting a Delhi high court order issued by Justice Gita Mittal on 15 March said “....conciliation is pending and there is no threat to go on strike. It is further submitted that there is no intention of the defendants to violate any statutory provisions." Mint could not immediately contact Icpa officials.