EXPRESSING concern over the job security of employees of the airline, Air India Employees Union (AIEU)
has opposed privatisation of the airline. In a meeting held with NITI Aayog Chairman Arvind Panagariya on Wednesday, the union has insisted on looking after the job security and welfare facilities of the existing and retired employees.
The meeting with Aayog comes after the government think tank NITI Aayog suggested complete privatisation of the airline, which faces a debt burden of around Rs 50,000 crore. “We have handed over the memorandum of AIEU to Panagariya which is self explanatory. We insisted that job security and welfare facilities of existing and retired employees should be taken care of in case of privatisation,”
Parag Azgaonkar, president AIEU said.
The unions also raised concerns with certain policies of the airline which led them into losses. Reappointment of permanent employees after retirement, joint venture with Singapore Airport Transport Service (SATS) for ground handling are some decisions which the union state caused losses to the airline.
“We would like to place on record that Air India incurred Rs 50,000 crore of accumulated losses due to hasty decisions and wrong civil aviation’s policy of the Government of India such as purchase of 111 aircraft, surrendering profit making routes to private operators, providing service to loss-making routes in north east sector,” excerpts from the letter sent to the Aayog read.
The employees have raised demands of certain allowances and arrears payments in case of privatisation of the airline. Official spokespeople from the airline refused to comment on the stance of the union.