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Repeated withholding of wages a strain; provide urgent financial aid to AI: Pilot unions urge Centre

ANI | Updated: Mar 17, 2020 10:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 17 (ANI): Two Air India pilots unions have written to Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri asking for urgent financial aid to the national carrier to ensure timely payment of salaries and other dues to the crew.
The letter by the two unions - Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) mention that the Air India employees have not been paid the wages for even the month of January in full.
"As you are fully aware, the outbreak of coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe. During this perilous time, Air India employees have gone above and beyond to get our countrymen back from affected countries worldwide...Air India has been in a debt trap for quite some time and this will hit the national carrier especially hard. Even now as we write to you, delays in our salary have been commonplace for more than a year. As of date, even January wages have not been paid in full," the letter read.
It further added that apart from the operational risks the crew members and their families are facing difficulties owing to the continued delay in wages.

The unions said that it although work done by Air India and the crew has been praised even by the Union Cabinet, but "the Government has not infused any funds into Air India when it is needed the most."
"This makes it almost impossible for Air India to meet its monthly financial obligations. Against this backdrop, our fundamental right to wages for work already done is being flouted time and again," it said.
The national carrier has been instrumental in bringing back Indians from the coronavirus hit China, Japan, Italy, and Iran.
Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet had approved an amendment to the FDI policy on civil aviation, allowing non-resident Indians (NRIs) to acquire a 100 per cent equity stake in Air India, from which it is seeking to disinvest.
In light of the proposed strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent of Air India by the government, Air India will have no residual government ownership and will be completely privately owned. (ANI)