Air India crew union calls airlines' cost-saving measures illegal
Air India on Wednesday implemented a series of cost-saving measures, including reduction in allowances and fuel reimbursement for officers. However, the move is being resisted by its cabin crew — All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) — who have called the move discriminatory and illegal.
Around the world, airlines are responding to COVID-19 crisis with sharp reduction in capacity, pay cuts and layoffs. Air India, too, has decided on cost-saving measures that include withdrawal of entertainment allowance of executive pilots, 30-40 per cent cut in subsistence allowance paid to cabin crew on their foreign layovers and 10 per cent reduction in fuel reimbursement for all officers. In his letter, Air India’s Executive Director (Finance) S K Singh said the steps were being taken in view of financial position of the firm.
AICCA has called the reduction in allowances discriminatory and illegal. “This unilateral change in service conditions and reduction in emoluments are also violations of industrial law of workmen cabin crew,” AICCA General Secretary Sanjay Lazar wrote in an email. Lazar said cabin crew had been denied 25 per cent of their emoluments for past five years and the issue is pending before the Supreme Court. Air India is duty bound to maintain status quo and demanded the withdrawal of pay cut order, he added.