Aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs) of Air India have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, complaining that the 40% pay cut has pushed them to the brink with the "overload of EMIs, school fees and bills". "Increasing the pay cut to 40 per cent from April in our cadre has pushed us to the edge of subsistence with an overload of EMIs, schools fees and bills," the Air India maintenance engineers said.
They added that these allowances have been specifically targeted by the management to adversely hurt a particular section of employees, namely the AMEs.
The engineers added that contrary to belief, the amount of mandatory maintenance work on the aircraft remained undiminished during the pandemic, irrespective of aircraft utilisation, and rather increased due to the requirement of periodic storage examination and preservation in "Flight Ready" condition.
"We are forced to withdraw money from our provident fund for our survival as our existing financial commitments towards basic needs have not even reduced slightly," they added.
"It is tragic that engineers in the middle of their career, with all the liabilities pending towards family and wards, are forced to withdraw money from the provident funds to meet daily needs while the retired executives, having already secured their future, are enjoying the freebies despite dismal performance in service," the associations said.
The engineers said that if the pay cut is inevitable, then it should be applied equally and ethically to all sections of employees.