Late last month, the central government signed a share purchase agreement with Tata Sons for the sale of Air India for Rs 18,000 crore.

Indian Pilots Guild, one of the pilot unions of Air India, has said that they are hopeful that the outgoing management will ensure the process of settling employees arrears is carried out smoothly, before Tata Son’s takeover. In a letter to Air India, the guild express hope about making a fresh start with the airline’s new owners, at the same time, urged the current dispensation not to “exploit” the employees as it could potentially lead to mass protest and industrial unrest just as the company changes hands.

According to the IPG, the 2006 Wage Agreement allocated a monthly Layover Subsistence Allowance (LSA) for captains and for co-pilots. Over the years, 25 per cent of these amounts were held back and are still due. Moreover, overtime payments arising out of this wage pact are also awaited. In 2012, a wrongful and unilateral 25 per cent pay cut had been implemented on all employees.

Late last month, the central government signed a share purchase agreement with Tata Sons for the sale of Air India for Rs 18,000 crore. Tatas beat the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.

Parked Plain

So naturally, when these arrears are settled there should be no question of any tax burden on the pilots, the guild said in the letter.

The government is committed to settling all outstanding dues with employees pre-hand-over. In this regard, certain points must not be missed whilst implementing the said process, the IPG said in the letter. It also stated that one of the allowances was LSA which was also not paid on time. LSA was an allowance provided to sustain one’s self on international layovers where the cost of living is exponentially higher

The reimbursement of these foreign currency expenses that have been incurred for so many years is long overdue, it said. The arrears arising out of the 25 per cent cut on LSA are due to its members. So naturally, when these arrears are settled there should be no question of any tax burden on the pilots, the guild said in the letter.

Further, it said, this is a reimbursement of our expenses at foreign stations which have already been incurred. Under no circumstances should these arrears be considered a form of income. The letter stated that the book of accounts should reflect the same and a suitable method of disbursement be devised to avoid any query from the Indian regulatory authorities, the letter stated.

The Guild further stated that the points raised in the letter should be taken as a reminder of the company’s obligation to settle the already promised dues, the letter said at this critical juncture where the international skies have opened up and the domestic demand is steadily rising due to the festive season. 

Air India

The letter stated that the book of accounts should reflect the same and a suitable method of disbursement be devised to avoid any query from the Indian regulatory authorities, the letter stated.

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