Air Indias plans to implement the pay parity recommendations of the Dharmadhikari report may run into fresh trouble as one of its largest unions has rejected the findings of the panel. The Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU),with a membership of one-third of total employee strength has rejected the report.
The union,which represents almost 11,000 members belonging to erstwhile Indian Airlines criticised the panel for attempting to restrict passages or free/highly discounted return tickets and for failing to address their concerns over promotions and reducing increments. The union,however,supported the decision to abolish Productivity-linked Incentives.
This report is going to open pandoras box for further litigations. We reject it and it should be trashed, ACEU general secretary Arun Kumar Malhotra told The Indian Express. Indian Pilots Guild,the de-recognised pilots union on strike,too had earlier criticised the report as biased and favouring their counterparts from erstwhile Indian Airlines.
The report sought to restrict not only the number of free passages but also the definition of family,and relatives. The panel has instead recommended Leave Travel Concession model as available to other employees.
Malhotra said,We are not government employees. One gets benefit of the organisation they are working at. A person at a sweet shop gets to eat sweets. Opposing the panels recommendation on passages,Malhotra cited the case of other domestic carriers,which he claimed had a similar or generous policy.
Jet Airways offers 26 passages in a year to employees with five years of service and 40 to those with 15 years plus of service. IndiGo confirmed that it offers unlimited travel to all its employees,subject to seat availability,restricting the group size to six at a time. Kingfisher offers monthly passages to its employees,which can be used by anyone nominated by the employee. Most employees at Air India,claimed Malhotra,are eligible for two free passages a year and five free passages at 95 per cent concession.