Cabin crew keeps out of employee bid for Air India

New Delhi, Dec 6 : The cabin crew employees of Air India will not participate in the employee bid for 51 per cent stake in Air India and instead want their arrears to be paid.

In a letter to Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, the All India Cabin Crew Association said: “The AICCA had proudly supported the employee buyout bid for Air India at that time by the IPG, during the government of our PM A.B. Vajpayee, and perhaps in better circumstances the cabin crew may have considered it. But with more than (Rs) 1400 crores of employees arrears outstanding, it has become impossible.”

“The Cabin Crew of the AICCA wish all the Directors and Executives luck in their endeavour, it is after all our Airline, but we shall not be participating in this venture at all,” it said.

The association referred to an unsigned note by purporting to be from an Airline Board member and ACC appointee, on the purchase of 51 per cent stake of Air India.

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“Whilst we laud this effort by the Air India board members, we also wonder why neither your good self nor the other members of our board chose to share this with any of us Trade Unions, especially when we were invited for so many meetings during the initial PIM and privatisation process, by Hon. Minister Civil Aviation/Secretary – Civil Aviation and CMD and we were on the various committees. After all Our Airline has been built by thousands of employees, be they cabin crew, pilots, engineers, security, traffic, commercial, accounts, medical & allied staff including thousands of retirees,” the cabin crew said.

It has demanded payment of their pending salary/allowance arrears & dues to the cabin crew since 2007 and the 25 per cent wage cut due and restoration of flying allowances, “which has hit us by 60-70 percent, which will rebuild confidence of our members and workers of our great Airline”.

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“We wish to draw your attention to the sad fact that many of our cabin crew have expired whilst waiting for these dues since 2007. Many of our retired colleagues have also been fighting a lonely battle in various fora to get their dues. Our existing Cabin Crew has been suffering the double whammy from loss of flying and reduction of allowances and this has crippled many families,” the cabin crew members said.

A group of 209 employees of Air India are bidding for the national carrier in partnership with a private financier.

As reported earlier, Air India employees are preparing to bid for the national carrier in partnership with a private equity fund and each employee will be asked to contribute Rs 1 lakh towards the bid.

The bid process is being led by Meenakshi Mallik, Commercial Director, Air India.

–IANS
san/vd

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