“…the disproportionate unilateral pay cut imposed on pilots in the name of Covid-19 amounts to a gross reduction up to 58% of our rightful wages, from the month of April 2020… We have been very patient and have shown a lot of restraint to ensure smooth flight operations,” the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA, union of erstwhile Indian Airlines’ pilots) has written to AI chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal on Thursday in a letter titled “humiliation of frontline workers”.
The letter points out that till now 171 AI pilots have tested Covid positive while operating Vande Bharat Mission flights during the pandemic. They have claimed that with air traffic reviving, the pilots were assured of significant reversal of pay cut.
“This pittance of a 5% decrease in the current wage cut is an outright insult… This ‘generosity’ amounts to a reduction of approximately 3% in the current gross pay cut for pilots… while parliamentarians themselves have taken a cut of only 30% on gross emoluments and vehemently refused to take a higher cut, we think it is completely egregious for us pilots to continue tolerating this arbitrary massive pay cut of 55% on our gross emoluments. We do not accept this paltry 5% roll back in illegal pay cut and you may advice the concerned to donate this 5% towards funds for building the Parliament or PM CARE,” the letter says.
“If we do not see a timely substantial reduction in this disproportionate pay cut, we will be forced to seek justice through harsher means including industrial action,” it added.