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Air India privatisation: Air India unions have written to the Centre, seeking resolution of leave encashment, medical and post-retirement benefits, accommodation of employees and arrears. The unions have demanded clarification on leave encashment and time for at least one year for employees to reside in Air India colonies. 

Leave Encashment

In a joint letter to Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, they said that all unions have been promised their leave encashment. “As unions, we demand that the option to encash or carry forward immediately our SL/PL be clarified before the handover. Those who opt to encash it now may commence with new leave accounts, and those who have opted to carry forward may be credited with that leave balance," they said. 

Air India Colonies

Unions said they had requested the government to allow employees to continue living in the colonies until their superannuation or monetisation since the subsidiaries were not being transferred and would continue with the government. The ministry's letters after that have been very harsh in principle, demanding that all employees sign undertakings in 15 days or pay 15 lakhs penalties.

"We urge you to intercede on behalf of the Air Indians who reside in these colonies to allow them to reside in them for a reasonable period of at least a year," they said. 

Medical Benefits

The unions said they have no clarity on the medical benefits for the serving and the retired/retiring employees. They said they are yet to receive a final response as to which of the two options has been finalised. "We are also concerned about OPD, hospitalisation and disbursal of medicines for serving and retired employees," the unions wrote.

Post-retirement benefits

The unions further said they have constantly demanded that all permanent employees be given the right to post-retirement benefits of medical and passage. "It is estimated that some 2400 permanent employees are being left out of the retirement scheme for want of completion of the 20 years clause. All permanent employees should be entitled to these benefits," they said.

Pre-Covid allowances

The allowances of all employees had been cut during the first wave of Covid last year and now that the flying is fast reaching normalisation and passenger traffic getting back to pre-Covid levels, "we must return to our pre-Covid emoluments", the unions demanded.

Payment of all arrears

The unions said arrear issue has been hanging on for years now and they have demanded that all their arrears to be settles before handover. “The arrears must be paid in full with interest prior to handover, and a statement of arrears promised to us should be furnished immediately," the union said. 

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