Air India unions have demanded that their concerns about payment of arrears, leave encashment, medical benefits, and accommodation are addressed urgently.
Referring to the privatisation of the national carrier and the bid by the Tata Group, a joint letter by all the unions to the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal, reiterated their demands.
The unions sought clarification on the option to immediately encash or carry forward their leaves before the handover. They say they had been promised this in several meetings with the government.
The letter requests the government to allow employees to continue living in the Air India colonies till monetisation or at least for a year as the new owners are giving a one-year employment guarantee.
The unions also expressed concern about the lack of clarity on medical benefits for serving and retired/retiring employees. They claim they are still waiting for a final response.
Another major demand of the unions is that all permanent employees be given the post-retirement benefit of “medical and passage”.
The unions also asked for the restoration of pre-Covid allowances and emoluments.
The sale of the national carrier has been criticised by the 10 central trade unions as well.
“This is a gift back to the Tatas on 75th year of Independence after its takeover by the government in 1948 followed by its nationalisation in 1953. Several lakh crores were infused from the national exchequer to expand its asset base, a huge fleet of aircraft and properties, both in the country and abroad,” the unions said in a joint statement today.
Air India has been sold to Tata Sons for Rs. 18,000 crores, its total debt stands at over Rs 60,000 crore.
There will be no retrenchment in the first year and Air India employees will be given a voluntary retirement scheme or VRS in the second year. Gratuity and Provident Funds benefits will be provided to all employees.