After winning the Air India bid, the Central government has asked Tata Sons to not fire any Air India employee for at least one year. As per the directives of the Government, Tata will offer the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in the second year to the existing Air India employees.
As of now, Air India employs about 12,085 employees among whom 8,084 are permanent and 4,001 are on contract. Additionally, Air India Express has 1,434 employees.
These conditions were put forth by the Central government after Tata emerged as the winning bidder in the privatisation process of the national carrier.
The future of Air India employees is in a jeopardy with no certainty as to many employees and pilots may have to leave the company in search of a new job. Earlier, the Government had directed the Air India employees to vacate their accommodations within the six month period after the disinvestment process. The Air India employees had been living in houses allotted in Air India-provided colonies in Mumbai and Delhi, for which they paid subsidised rent.
Also, since the pandemic, the pilots of Air India have seen a salary cut of 70 to 80 per cent as they clocked less flying hours. Indian Pilot’s Guild, the union for pilots, has written to the recently elected aviation secretary and former CMD of Air India that they want their pays restored to pre-COVID levels.