The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (IPCA) and the Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) have discouraged employees of Air India from participating in a bid to buy the airline. Last week, a group of about 209 employees had come forward to invest in the airline with help from a private equity (PE) fund. Each employee was to contribute Rs 1 lakh and get a 51 per cent stake in the Company.
However, the unions have asked its members not participate in the bid until all issues pertaining to salary cuts and the pending arrears are cleared and resolved. The unions have been objecting to the 70 per cent pay cuts of the pilots as compared to the 10 per cent pay cut of the senior management for some time now. Also, the union has been negotiating for the release of the 25 per cent arrears that have been withheld.
The unions maintain that while the deadline for the bid is December 14, no move has been made to clarify the matter of the 25 per cent arrears that have been illegally held back from the pilots. The union members are more disappointed because most other airlines have restored the salaries of their employees or revised the cuts for the pilots, whereas Air India has made no attempt to do so. Therefore, the unions want all the pending issues to be addressed first before the employees take part in the strategic bid.