Air India began deducting the pay of employees who have not left their company-provided housing in Vasant Vihar, Delhi and the Air India Colony in Mumbai. The employees reported that their December salaries had substantial reductions, ranging from 15,000 to 90,000 rupees.
Last Friday, the airline completed one year of privatisation, but r many of its employees who reside in the airline staff quarters in Mumbai and Delhi, faced significant salary reductions and penal rent charges.
Since August 2022, the employees who have not yet vacated their flats have had their salaries deducted as a result and will continue to have deductions until they leave the properties. In addition to the regular deductions, they will also have to pay an extra penalty of 10 lakh rupees.
As reported by ANI, a letter was sent to Air India employees residing in the Air India Colony at Kalina, Mumbai and Vasant Vihar in Delhi, indicating that a fine of 15 lakh and 10 lakh rupees respectively, will be deducted from their salaries and other benefits. The letter also stated that the employees will also be responsible for paying damage charges of 15/10 lakh rupees.
The Air India employees have argued that while the government transferred ownership of Air India to the Tatas, the colony was not included in the deal. The employees in Mumbai are facing larger pay reductions compared to those in Delhi, due to the higher expenses for establishment and living in Mumbai, which is considered the country’s financial capital.
Last year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) sent a letter to Air India, stating that those who do not vacate their accommodations will have to pay the monthly rent at twice the market rate, in addition to the fine. The letter, dated September 29, 2021, stated that penal rent equivalent to the sum of normal occupancy charges and double the market rent will be levied on those who stay in the company accommodation without authorization from August 1, 2022 till the date of vacating the accommodation. The penal rent will be recovered from the salary and other dues payable to the employee.
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