Air India's cabin crew union on Monday protested the recent dismissal of 17 of their colleagues, terming it illegal, and sought an amicable solution to the issue through negotiations with the management.
The All India Cabin Crew Association, which claims to represent the 3,600 cabin crew members in the national carrier, however, disfavoured resorting to industrial action. "Air India is on its way to recovery and the summer holiday season is just ahead.
“Therefore, what is needed at this stage is complete harmony between the management and the employees and a peaceful and amicable solution of a problem, if there is any, so that the airline can succeed," AICCA said in a statement.
Though the AICCA is ‘deeply alarmed at the recent illegal Termination’ of some of the cabin crew, it would ‘not engage in any illegal activity to compound the situation.’
Cracking the whip on its erring cabin crew, AI had sacked 16 air hostesses and a flight purser in a period of nine days for not following Flight Duty Time Limitation norms. FDTL norms are guidelines governing issues like maximum daily flight duty period, including flying hour limitations, rest period, staff-on-duty travel and number of landings allowed per pilot as well as the crew.
As against an industry average of 75 hours of monthly flying, Air India cabin crew averages only about 52 hours on international routes, while in domestic sector it is 55 hours.
AICCA said it has taken up the termination issue at various fora "but we have not given any strike call."
It has already initiated proceedings for quashing these ‘illegal dismissals’ and started dialogue with the management to resolve the issue.
"We reiterate that our dismissed cabin crew were complying with bilateral settlements upheld by Supreme Court and there was no industrial action on their part as falsely and provocatively portrayed.
“The dismissals are ex-facie illegal and without due process of law," AICCA added.