Air India convenes divestment meeting with unions on Monday

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on October 13, 2019 Published on October 13, 2019

Ashwani Lohani , Chairman, Air India. File photo   -  BusinessLine

This would be the second meeting on divestment, and is likely to be met with “severe objections”

The management of national carrier Air India has convened a meeting of all its employee unions on Monday to discuss a proposal to privatise the airline.

“We have been called for a meeting with the management on Monday, but we don’t know the agenda. Officially the agenda of the meeting is not known, but we believe it’s regarding divestment,” Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU) General Secretary J B Kadian told BusinessLine.

ACEU, which represents non-technical staff, is the largest union at Air India, with more than 8,000 about members.

The meeting, which unions term as “crucial”, has been called by Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani. Apart from the carrier’s top management, Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar and two each representatives each from every union are expected to attend.

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Representatives from about 10 trade unions including ACEU, Air India Employees Union, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), All-India Aircraft Engineers’ Association, Indian Airlines Technicians Association, Air India Employees Union and Aviation Industry Employees Guild among others are expected to attend the meeting.

“Only two representatives per union are allowed in the meeting, and this being a crucial meeting, members of all the unions, including the non-recognised ones, have been called,” Kadian added.

This would be the second meeting on divestment, and is likely to be met with “severe objections” as many of the unions are objecting to privatisation fearing job losses, an industry expert said.

Tata Sons, the salt-to-software conglomerate is believed to be readying to bid for Air India, once the Government finalises the divestment plans. A Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, has to take a final call on the divestment.

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Published on October 13, 2019
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