A joint forum of AAI's employees and officers has warned the management of 'industrial action' if it goes ahead with a recent proposal of reduction or deferrals in salary perks, as part of the national airport operator's economic revival plan amid the pandemic.
The Joint Forum of Unions and Associations of AAI dubbed the proposal discussed at various video conferences (VCs) with the management with a recognised union and other associations as 'unscientific'.
In a letter to Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Sanjeev Kumar earlier this week, the Forum said the employees' take-home emoluments are already affected significantly, due to freezing of dearness allowance, overtime, and performance-linked incentives.
The employees are already in severe mental distress on the unexpected demise of their near and dear, and their 'mental agony' will be elevated if their emoluments are affected, it stated.
"As responsible union and associations, we cannot keep mum, and will be compelled for IR action (industrial action), if the management unilaterally adopts the unscientific proposal of salary-perks reduction/ deferral of AAI employees, during this difficult phase," the Joint Forum warned in the letter.
The Joint Forum comprises Airports Authority Employees Union, CNS Officers Guild, Air Traffic Controllers Guild, Airports Authority of India Engineers Guild, International Airports Authority of India Officers Association, Air Controllers Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel Association, and AAI SC/ST Employees Welfare Association-I.
"(At the VCs), we placed in detail to prove that salary-perks reduction/deferral at this juncture will not be good for the industry, economy and the employees at large."
"We made every attempt to convince the management that such a proposal will definitely downturn the family budget of AAI officials, who are having fixed financial commitments, commensurate with the present pay," the Joint Forum said in the letter.
At the same time, the employees have to fight with soaring inflation, high medical expenditure in addition to meeting loan repayment commitments on time, it added.
Claiming that the banks, including nationalised ones, are not willing to forego the interest during the lockdown period, the Forum said, "We put forth our suggestions before the Minister of Civil Aviation (Hardeep Singh Puri) to revive the AAl's financial resources." It urged the management to 'refrain' from the staff cost trimming exercises till its plea is properly heard by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and requested it to constitute an experts' committee to study and analyse its proposals.