Pilots’ body requests labour authority to restrain Air India from changing service conditions

New Delhi: Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has written to the Labour authority requesting to take urgent note of the escalating situation and to restrain the Management of Air India from changing the conditions of service of its pilots.

The pilots’ body has said that it is important for their morale and for the maintenance of trust between the pilots and the Management of Air India Ltd., especially given the transition to the new management, that pilots be consulted and taken into confidence before any condition of their service is changed, especially when such change may ultimately prove to be to their detriment.

“We understand that the management of Air India is contemplating certain changes to the conditions of service of the Pilots of Air India engaged in Scheduled Air Transport Operations,” said the communication sent during the last month.

The association has referred to Industrial Disputes Act saying, “Section 9-A of the ID Act read with the Fourth Schedule of the ID Act mandates that an employer give due notice (as prescribed) before effecting any change in the conditions of service, such as wages, allowances, concessions and privileges, of any workman.”

They also said that in this regard they had sent two letters or Demand Notices to Air India on October 10, 2022 and December 21, 2022 respectively, requesting the Management of Air India Ltd. to involve them as representative of the pilots in deliberations regarding any change in conditions of service before any precipitative steps are taken.

The ICPA in its earlier letter had also talked about following the Roster Practices (entered into between the Management ICPA and IPG), in letter and spirit and without creating an artificial distinction between permanent/regular pilots and FTC (fixed term contract) pilots, while no such distinction was contemplated at the time of signing of and within the said practices therein.

The ICPA said that despite the first Demand Notice having been sent out in October, 2022 and the second one on December, 22, 2022, the ICPA or its members have received no response from the Management of Air India Ltd., even as on date.

“The member pilots of the ICPA now earnestly apprehend that the Management, without paying heed to their abovementioned Demand Notices, will proceed to give change conditions of their service, to the absolute detriment of the Pilots, without following the mandate of Section 9A, ID Act,” they said.

“The Indian Commercial Pilots Association requests you to take urgent note of the escalating situation, and immediately and without any further delay, restrain the Management of Air India Ltd. from changing the conditions of service of its pilots, especially since the Management of Air India Ltd continues to remain unresponsive to the pleas of its pilots,” the pilots’ body said.


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