New Delhi: In the wake of a bid by the Tata Group to take over the national carrier, the Air India employees' unions have demanded the Centre government clarity on issues related to payment arrears, leave encashment, medical benefits and accommodation.
The different Air India employees' unions raised their demands to the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal in a joint letter.
The unions demanded clarification on immediately encash or carry forward their leaves before the airlines is handed over. They claim that the government has promised the same in several meetings.
The letter further requested that the government allow employees to live in Air India colonies until monetisation or at least a year as the new owners are giving a one-year employment guarantee. Also, the unions expressed concern about obscurity in medical benefits for serving and retired/retiring employees and said that they are waiting for a final response.
Unions demanded that all permanent employees be given the post-retirement of "medical and passage". Pre-Covid allowances and payments also must be restored, unions demanded.
The national carrier's, Air India's, the sale was widely criticised by many, including ten of the central trade unions. In a joint statement on Wednesday, they said that the deal is a gift back to the Tatas in the 75th year of Independence. The statement said that several lakh crores were infused from the national exchequer to expand its asset base, huge fleet and properties in the country and abroad.
Air India has been sold to Tata Sones for Rs 18,000 crores while its total debt stands at over Rs 60,000 crores. In 1948, the union government had taken over the airlines and nationalised them in 1952.
In the first year, there will be no reduction, but employees will be given a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in the second year. Gratuity and Provident Funds will be provided to all employees.