The flag carrier airline of the country, Air India, has issued a strict order to all its employees to refrain from speaking to the media while in uniform.
The new rule has been introduced because there have been several cases wherein employees in uniform have portrayed Air India in a bad light.
An internal communication sent to the employees said, that despite repeated instructions being issued advising staff to avoid interacting with the media, there have been instances in the past where employees have done so. Staff members have posted videos of themselves in uniform inside Air India aircraft, and even expressed their views on electronic and social media depicting a negative image of the Company. Instances have also come to light wherein Air India representatives have openly criticized the efforts to privatise the carrier, which has been incurring losses.
The letter circulated internally to the staff of Air India stated that from now on, employees will have to seek prior permission from the chairman and managing director (CMD) before offering any comments or reactions on social platforms.
According to Amrita Sharan, director (personnel), Air India, the employees will have to make a formal request through the proper channel. The request will be processed by the personnel department and explicit approval of the CMD will be obtained.
Any employee found to be breaking the company policy or rule will be penalised.
Union representatives of Air India have been against the privatisation of the carrier. They feel that denationalisation is not the way to ensure efficiency and profits.