Indicating more trouble ahead for Air India,Indian Pilots Guild president and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad today demanded immediate formulation of a clear-cut HR policy to pave the way for a smooth workforce integration,which is the bone of contention.
The strike called by IPG,which entered the fifth day today,has crippled Air India’s international operations with the cancellation of 16 flights during the day.
“The issue is not confined to pilots. As the merger process moves ahead,the differences between the two groups (erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India) are bound to widen further,” Awhad told reporters here.
There are differences in the work culture and work policies,Awhad said,adding the management needs to formulate a clear-cut policy on the manpower integration,which has been pending for the past five years.
“You have to have a humane approach in any industrial relations,” he said.
Incidentally,the decision to merge the two carriers,which drew flak from the CAG as well various parliamentary panels,was taken when NCP’s Praful Patel was Civil Aviation Minister.
Accusing the management of discrimination against the IPG pilots,Awhad said when the Indian Airlines Pilots (ICPA) had gone on a strike last year,the management happily negotiated with them but it was not ready to talk with IPG.
Stating that the Supreme Court order had not directed Air India to send erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots for Boeing 787 training,IPG spokesperson and general secretary Tausif Mukkadam said the management is not putting the real picture to the government.
Accusing the company of wasting taxpayers’ money,Mukkadam said the decision to send the ICPA pilots would have cost implications for the company which has just been bailed out by the government.
“An Air India pilot needs only two weeks’ training on ground and simulator in Singapore,besides another two weeks’ training on the plane,while according to the Boeing norms,the Airbus pilots require a four-month training schedule on the plane,in addition to the 45-day training on the ground and simulator,” he said.