Several Air India Unions on Wednesday wrote a joint letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, pointing out to several employee concerns like cash, leave encashment, medical benefits, post-retirement benefits, accommodation and arrears.
With Air India undergoing privatization by the Tata Group bid, the unions raised several concerns that needed showing ‘deep concern’ over many employee-related issues. The letter was in reference to a meeting that had taken place on September 1, 2021, helmed by the Civil Aviation Ministry and attended by all Air India Unions.
The letter primarily seeked to clarify the option to encash leaves as discussed in the said meeting, before the handover takes place. Apart from this, accomodation was another issue as the unions have demanded that employees be allowed to stay in airline flats till monetization or at least for a year as Tatas are giving a one-year employment guarantee.
Air India Unions seek clarity on these issues.
All permanent employees be given right to post-retirement benefits of Medical and Passage. “It is being 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 this benefit”, the letter read.
Restoration of pre- Covid allowances
Citing how allowance of all employees was cut off during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the letter demands restoration of those allowances, now thar flights are getting back into operation.
Payment of all arrears
The unions demand their arrears to be settled before the handover. “Arrears must be paid in full woith interest prior to handover, and a statement of arrears promised to us should be furnished immediately”, it read.
The unions said that they have no clarity on the medical benefits they will get, raising concern about OPD, hospitalization, and disbursal of medicines etc.
The letter claimed that employees were promised leave encashments in the meeting that took place on September 1, also presided by the Civil Aviation Ministry. With this, the unions demand that those who opt to encash leaves now may commence with new leave accounts, and those who have opted to carry forward may be credited with the leave balance.
Unions demand that employees be allowed to reside in the Air India colonies until their superannuation or monetization. They have asked the ministry to intercede on behalf of the employees, and allow them to stay put for at least one year.
Tata Sons beat SpiceJet promoter to bag Air India. The DIPAM secretary said Tatas’ bid of Rs 18,000 crore comprises taking over 15,300 crores of debt and paying the rest in cash. Both bidders had quoted above the reserve price, he said adding the transaction is planned to be closed by December.