New Delhi: The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) on Monday wrote to Air India CMD stating that "any unilateral change by AI from agreed-upon wage settlement would be illegal and would not be in the interest of the national carrier".
The association says such a move has the potential to flare-up to a situation of 'unprecedented magnitude'.
"The management cannot and should not unilaterally implement any restructured wage as under Section 9A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Air India Limited is bound to serve a Notice of change to the unions," the ICPA wrote in a letter to Air India CMD.
"The Bombay High Court in the matter ICPA vs Air India Limited in WP(C) 1088/2013 on January 27, 2014, held that notice under Section 9A of the ID Act should be given by Air India Limited to the petitioner unions of the change in conditions of service in the prescribed format," it added.
The ICPA further said that the order of the Bombay High Court was challenged before the apex court. The Supreme Court of India has not issued a stay in favour of Air India Limited. Essentially, this means Air India is bound to follow Section 9A of the ID Act, it added.
"In the interest of the company and due to the COVID scenario, ICPA supports temporary austerity measures at all fronts. Only if such a restructuring is done in the true spirit of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Flying allowance and flying related allowances constitute 70 per cent of our wages. These allowances remain unpaid since April 2020. Furthermore, all the wages are being paid with constant delays," the ICPA said.
"The proposal was verbally explained to us without any written true copy. However, the said proposal is not acceptable to us as it is against the fundamental right, "right to equality", guaranteed to us by the Indian Constitution," it further said.
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