The airline said that in a challenging financial situation, it is taking recourse to several initiatives with a view to ensure that its flight operations continue.

Air India defends decision to implement leave without pay, calls it a ‘win-win’ one for staff

Defending its determination to implement ‘leave without pay’ (LWP) for its workers as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, nationwide service Air India on Friday referred to its scheme as a ‘win-win situation’ for each events. It stated that the whereas the scheme on the one hand provides freedom to its workers to have interaction themselves with one other employer for the stated interval, the airline is ready to save its money circulate however.

This comes after the nationwide service was flooded with letters of criticism from its workers from all sections.

The airline stated that in a difficult monetary scenario, it’s taking recourse to a number of initiatives with a view to make sure that its flight operations proceed.

The LWP scheme was launched on Tuesday and in response to the airline allows workers to avail the advantages of continuing on depart with out pay on voluntary foundation. “It has been introduced for grant of leave without pay and allowances for permanent employees for a period of six months/two years, which is extendable upto 5 years,” the airline acknowledged.

Recalling earlier cases, Air India stated that it had introduced out comparable LWP schemes in September 1998, in June 2009 and in August 2009 and workers had availed of the LWP scheme.

However, this time the addition on this scheme as in comparison with the sooner LWP scheme is that the airline administration can move an order requiring the workers to go on obligatory depart for a interval of six months to 2 years, which is extendable upto 5 years.

The airline spokesperson stated, “In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there may be employees who are unable to attend their office duties in person on account of personal reasons. The LWP scheme enables employees to take a break from their office responsibility for a defined period of time with the approval of the management, while retaining their employment with the company. They will continue to avail facilities such as passage, medical and housing at specified rates.”

As on April 2020, Air India had over 14,000 workers that included round 1,800 pilots and round 4,000 cabin crew.

Justifying the scheme, the spokesperson additionally stated that the LWP scheme offers alternative to workers to take up various employment with the approval of the administration in the course of the interval of the stated depart.

“The LWP scheme is a win-win situation for both the management as well as employees as it provides flexibility to employees and simultaneously reduces the wage bill for the company. The Covid-19 outbreak has very seriously impacted the aviation sector and currently, the airline operations of the company are a small fraction of the prior Covid-19 level operations,” stated a senior AI official.

Disagreeing with the administration, a senior airline official stated, “LWP scheme is to save money for the company not a weapon to settle scores with employees. This is going to affect the livelihood of many. Why doesn’t the airline make every employee of AI take LWP a few days every month? This way the burden can be shared. The motive of the top management is to save their money by snatching money from lower employees.”

The airline, nevertheless, assured to make use of the scheme sparingly and with full equity, and stated that the chosen names of workers that may be despatched on obligatory LWP will likely be carried out after assessing their performances.