Around 150 ground staff of Spice Jet protested outside the Delhi Airport over salary cuts for half an hour Friday morning. Employees of SpiceJet who spoke to The Indian Express on condition of anonymity said they have been receiving as little as 15-20% of their pre-Covid salary.
A pilot who has been working with the airline for over four years said, “When the pandemic began and the first lockdown was implemented, everyone was caught by surprise. But instead of a revised salary structure, SpiceJet started paying pilots by the hour. We were later promised captains and first officers would be paid base salaries but that wasn’t done. Eventually, those pilots who would earn Rs 6.5 lakh per month, were paid per hour, wherein we would earn around 1.2 lakh per month.”
In other airlines, the employee added, pilots had received around 30 – 40 % pay cuts and still earned around Rs. 3.9 lakh per month.
Other employees of the company, such as ground staff, have been struggling to pay their bills as well. A customer service executive of SpiceJet said his salary had been reduced from 2.7 lakh per annum to 2.2 lakh per annum after the first lockdown. After that, he said they received another cut of 35% per month.
A spokesperson of SpiceJet said, “The issue with a section of SpiceJet employees at the Delhi airport has been resolved and employees have returned back to work. SpiceJet’s flight operations remain normal.”
An airport source said, “The protest went on for around half an hour, after which SpiceJet management spoke to protesters and the situation was brought under control.” Those on the night shift, who had completed their duties, were protesting. Hence, operations were not affected.