Post privatisation, Air India had sent letters to its employees in Mumbai, in October and then in May again, asking them to vacate the accommodation provided by the office by July 26.
As many as 1,600 families residing in Air India staff quarters at Kalina in Mumbai are affected by this eviction order.
The employee unions have termed this order as a change in service condition and thus a violation of the Industrial Disputes Act.
Three separate unions – Aviation Industry Employees Guild (AIEG), Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) and All India Service Engineers Association (AISEA) have now filed separate pleas with the Bombay High Court pleading for a revocation of this order.
The Aviation Industry Employees Guild (AIEG) has argued in its petition that as per Air India’s allotment rules, the allotment of accommodation is provided till retirement or cessation of service, and that there is no provision for any unilateral and arbitrary termination as is sought to be in the present case.
AISEA’s argument is that Air India cannot issue a letter asking for eviction before the conciliation proceedings are concluded. However, the conciliation eventually ended in failure.
In September last year, the Civil Aviation Ministry had apparently issued certain directions to the carrier regarding accommodation. Following which the airline asked employees to give an undertaking that they would vacate their homes within six months of disinvestment.
In a protest, the employees issued a strike notice against it and the matter was referred to the labour commissioner office for conciliation, however, it failed.