Air India Commercial Pilot Association on Friday sent a legal notice to its Chief Human Resources Officer with respect to the proposed revised terms and conditions of service of pilots.
The legal notice stated that the members of the association were astonished to receive emails addressed to them individually by the 'Air India HR Team' on April 16 and 17.
For the pilots with 4 years of seniority as Commanders in Air India, the email sensationally announced "Congratulations! You have been promoted as Senior Commander, which is an Executive Role"
The legal notice sent by the association through advocate Bharat Gupta stated that the email went on to state that as a 'Senior Commander' the members of My Client will be responsible for carrying out flying as well as management duties and will be eligible for a monthly 'Management Allowance'.
With the email also enclosed were 'the revised terms of employment including revised compensation details effective from April 1, 2023' and members were informed that they were 'required' to read the revised terms carefully and e-sign the same latest by April 24, 2023, which was stated to be 'for Air India's records'.
There was also a 'postscript' stating that the contents of the email were strictly confidential in nature and should not be circulated.
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Legal notice stated that, this action of contacting My Client's member pilots 'individually' in the matter of the terms and conditions of service, is not only unjust, coercive and intimidatory - but is illegal.
It also stated that, "As my client/Air India Commercial Pilot Association has impressed upon the management of Air India time and again, no unilateral change can be made to any of the existing service conditions of My Client's member pilots without issuing a notice under S.9A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and following the procedure thereunder".
"And in the proposed revised terms and conditions of service, there are several changes to the existing terms and conditions of service which are extremely prejudicial to My Client's member pilots," stated the notice copy.
Advocate Bharat Gupta for Pilot Association, stated, "My Client's members do not want to be forcibly promoted to the management cadre and wish to retain their present designations and roles and coverage under and protection of labour law. The so-called 'promotion' is merely a smokescreen to remove My Client's members from the category of 'workmen', and consequently from the protection of all labour law, and therefore, is utterly illegal and cannot be foisted on them unilaterally".
Legal Notice has been addressed to Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Air India Ltd.
Air India on Monday announced a new salary structure for pilots and cabin crew. The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association and Indian Pilot's Guild have opposed the 'Revised Terms of Employment and Compensation Details' and urged their members not to accept them.
The pilots' union also warned that any "coercive steps or victimisation" by the company to sign the revised terms "will lead to industrial unrest".
After the announcement of revised terms and conditions, Air India recently stated that the new compensation structure for pilots and cabin crew is an endeavour to bring parity among different groups, encourage productivity and that the managerial and supervisory role played by the experienced pilots is also being recognised.
Air India spokesperson said that contracts reflecting the enhancements were individually sent and a large number of pilots and cabin crew have already accepted the new contracts.
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