Coronavirus Outbreak: Air India unions challenge airline's decision to slash allowances by 10% in Mumbai High Court

Air India employee unions have moved the Bombay High Court against the airline's decision to slash allowances, which form a major part of the salary, by ten percent because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Press Trust of India May 08, 2020 16:47:59 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Air India unions challenge airline's decision to slash allowances by 10% in Mumbai High Court

Mumbai: Air India employee unions have moved the Bombay High Court against the airline's decision to slash allowances, which form a major part of the salary, by ten percent because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Air India Aircraft Engineers Association, All India Service Engineers Association and Indian Pilots Guild filed a writ petition in the high court earlier this week against the national carrier and its subsidiary Air India Engineering Services Ltd.

The petition, filed through advocates Jane Cox and Karishma Rao, said that on 20 March, Air India announced 10 percent deduction for three months from the allowance package of all employees except the cabin crew on account of the impact of coronavirus outbreak.

 <span class=Coronavirus Outbreak Air India unions challenge airlines decision to slash allowances by 10 in Mumbai High Court" width="380" height="285" class="size-full wp-image-7962721" />

File image of Air India aircraft. News18

The plea pointed out that on the same day the Union government issued an advisory asking all private and public firms not to reduce salaries or sack employees due to the pandemic.

"On 29 March, the home secretary issued an advisory under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, directing that all employers pay wages to their employees without making any deductions for the period their establishments remain closed on account of the lockdown," said advocate Jane Cox.

The deduction announced by Air India was therefore not only illegal under industrial laws but it also violated the Union government's order, the petition said, demanding that the pay cut be declared as illegal.

It also urged the court to direct Air India not to make any further deductions, and reimburse the amount deducted for March pending final disposal of the case.

The petitioners had also written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation protesting against the deduction but they were to receive any response, the plea said.

"The management has called a skeletal staff on duty on some days each week and has directed all employees to stay at home and remain available on phone in case of any emergency. We are all willing to resume work but are unable to do so because of the pandemic," the petition further said.

The deduction of wages for March was "especially unjust" as most employees worked from 1 March to 24 March, which was prior to national lockdown coming into effect, it said.

Allowances form 50 to 70 percent of salaries of petitioners while remaining amount includes basic pay and other components, the petition said.

The court is likely to hear the matter next week.

Updated Date:

also read

'Unprecedented' curbs on freedom of expression since outbreak of pandemic, says Amnesty International report
World

'Unprecedented' curbs on freedom of expression since outbreak of pandemic, says Amnesty International report

The report, "Silenced and Misinformed: Freedom of Expression in Danger During COVID-19" stated that amid the pandemic, journalists and health professionals have been silenced and imprisoned

A billion vaccines now: Centre urges states, UTs to focus on increasing second dose coverage
India

A billion vaccines now: Centre urges states, UTs to focus on increasing second dose coverage

The cumulative vaccine doses administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 inoculation drive, which was launched on 16 January by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has exceeded 99 crore

Maharashtra reports 1,485 COVID-19 cases, 38 deaths; active cases below 20,000
India

Maharashtra reports 1,485 COVID-19 cases, 38 deaths; active cases below 20,000

Maharashtra's case recovery rate now stands at 97.53 percent while the fatality rate is 2.12 percent. The number of coronavirus tests conducted in the state climbed to 6,22,02,811