Economy

Air India employees move HC against divestment without protecting their service conditions

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 03, 2021
image caption

Court orders notices to Civil Aviation Ministry, Air India and Talace of the Tata Group

The Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), representing over 5,000 employees of Air India, has moved the Madras High Court against disinvestment of the airline without protecting the service conditions of nearly 20,000 employees.

Justice V Parthiban on Friday ordered notices, returnable by January 7, to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Air India and Talace Pvt Ltd of the Tata Group, which is acquiring the airline through a disinvestment process.

The union claimed its members include cabin crew, aircraft equipment operators, drivers, instructors, supervisors, assistants, peons, helpers, safaiwalas and security staff. Women employees account for about 40 per cent of membership of the petitioner union.

 

The union’s president C Udayashankar (petitioner) sought an ad-interim injunction restraining the respondents from taking any measures to evict the members of the petitioner union from the accommodation provided to them and discontinuing the medical benefits and facilities presently extended to the members of the petitioner union and their family members.

The union also sought an interim direction to Air India and the Ministry to disclose the contents of the share purchase agreement entered into by them with Talace Pvt Ltd.

 

“I submit that despite the repeated representations of the petitioner union in respect of the issue of job security and the need for protection of the terms and conditions of service of the employees of Air India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the management of Air India had not held any consultations with the petitioner union in respect of the clauses to be inserted in the share purchase agreement in respect of employees’ welfare nor shared the draft purchase agreement with them,” the petition said.

"I further submit that until now, there has been no disclosure about the contents of the share purchase agreement by either the Government or the management of Air India on the ground that it is a confidential cabinet document. I submit that in the circumstances, the employees of Air India Limited have serious concerns and a genuine apprehension in respect of their livelihood and welfare in the future,” the petitioner said.

There should be no reduction in the strength of the workforce of Air India post disinvestment. Similarly, a suitable voluntary retirement service (VRS) ought to have been framed in consultation with the representatives of the petitioner union prior to the signing of the share purchase agreement with Talace.

If a clause has been inserted in the share purchase agreement regarding the provision of job security for just one year, it is necessary that a suitable VRS, as contemplated in consultation with the petitioner union and other representative unions, at least at this stage prior to the completion of the entire disinvestment process, the petition said.

Published on December 03, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

COMMENTS
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like

Recommended for you