The association said that such a situation “has the potential to flair to an unprecedented magnitude”.

Air india plane on a tarmac
Money Aviation Monday, July 20, 2020 - 14:58

The Indian Commercial Pilot Association has told Air India management that any unilateral change by Air India from agreed upon wage settlement would be illegal and will not be in the interest of the national carrier at this crucial juncture.

In a letter to Rajiv Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, ICPA warned that, "Such a situation has the potential to flair to an unprecedented magnitude".

The Centre reportedly plans to institute a 60% pay cut on a retrospective basis for all Air India pilots.

"Any unilateral change by Air India from agreed upon wage settlement would be illegal and will not be in the interest of our National Carrier at this crucial juncture. Such a situation has the potential to flair to an unprecedented magnitude," ICPA said. Air India is going through a sale process and final bids submission date is August 31.

ICPA said, "In the press conference by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on July 16, you had stated 'we are in negotiation with the pilots' which is far from reality."

"It was not a negotiation, but the diktat of MoCA which was conveyed to us. We would also like to place on record that the so called negotiation was ‘not harmonious' in any aspect," ICPA said.

"Flying allowance and flying related allowances constitute 70% of our wages. These allowances remain unpaid since April 2020. Furthermore, all the wages are being paid with constant delays. 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," ICPA said.

The management cannot and should not unilaterally implement any restructured wage. ICAP claimed that under Section 9A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Air India Limited is bound to serve a Notice of Change to the unions.

The Bombay HC in the matter ICPA vs. Air India Limited January 27, held, "We are of the view 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."

The order of the Bombay HC was challenged before the apex court. The Supreme Court 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, ICPA said.

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