Employees have been assured that their dues will be paid in full.
While the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has assured the employees of Air India that their dues will be paid in full, he has also asked the airline to form an internal committee to look into employees’ issues and address their queries regarding privatisation.
The committee will consist of members of the Air India management as well as trade union representatives. Presently, about 11,000 employees of the airline are uncertain and insecure about their future post privatisation.
At a meeting where representatives of about 12 employee unions were present, it was shared that the details about clearing of arrears will be part of the expression of interest (EoI) document. A draft of the same has been approved by a group of ministers lead by Union Minister Amit Shah. The share purchase agreement or SPA for the disinvestment of the airline was also approved. The Government will be selling all of its stake in Air India, which has been incurring losses for some time now.
The employees had been earlier told that their jobs will be protected even if the airline was privatised. There were reports in the media that whoever purchases the airline will retain the employees for a year post privatisation. However, with growing uncertainty, the employees’ unions are now considering discussing a voluntary retirement scheme package with the Government.
In 2018-19, the national carrier incurred losses to the tune of Rs 8,556 crore. It carries a huge debt of about Rs 80,000 crore.