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Air India pilots ask govt to clear salary arrears

Former Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani had in a letter to employees in 2015 stated that the management was absolutely clear that the salary arrears belongs to employees that they should be released to them.Premium
Former Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani had in a letter to employees in 2015 stated that the management was absolutely clear that the salary arrears belongs to employees that they should be released to them.

  • The Indian Pilots' Guild has said that its members have continued to endure the ad-hoc pay cut announced in January 2013 with the understanding that arrears would be settled shortly

NEW DELHI : Pilots of national carrier Air India Ltd have asked the government to clear their long pending salary arrears before the completion of the privatization process of the national carrier, which the government hopes to complete before the end of the ongoing financial year.

In a letter dated 15 July, addressed to the recently appointed civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG), comprising over 500 pilots flying wide-body planes for the airline, asked the minister to initiate the payment of arrears at the earliest.

"In January 2013, the Air India management cut staff salaries by 25% on an ad-hoc basis amid worsening financial conditions. We continued to endure this ad-hoc pay cut with the understanding that the arrears would be settled shortly," IPG said in the letter.

"Former Air India chairman, Ashwani Lohani in his 2015 letter to employees stated the management is absolutely clear that this pending amount belongs to the employees and should therefore be released back. Earlier this year, the then minister of civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had stated to the media (that) the employees' dues with arrears will be paid by Air India assets holding company before the closing of the proposed transaction," the letter said.

"As the privatization of Air India Ltd seems to be at the final stage, we turn to you to make good these assurances of payment of our long pending arrears," it added.

A copy of the letter has been reviewed by Mint.

An Air India spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Tata Group has emerged as one of the leading contenders to acquire the national carrier from the government. According to reports, the salt-to-software conglomerate has roped in consultants Bain and Company and Seabury Group to carry out due diligence on Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express.

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