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Rediff.com  » Business » No union activity during office hours, Air India tells labour leaders

No union activity during office hours, Air India tells labour leaders

June 17, 2014 09:19 IST

No union activity during office hours, Air India tells labour leaders

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Air India is considering steps to bring down the number of recognised unions in the airline.

Air India has withdrawn the special concession given to trade union leaders to do union activities on a full-time basis.

This means that about 15 union leaders who were exempt from regular duty will now have to resume work.

Air India’s industrial relations department communicated this decision last week through a letter addressed to the office bearers of Aviation Industry Employees Guild, Air India Employees Union and Air India Service Engineers Association.

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Image: An Air India Airlines Boeing 787 dreamliner takes off for a flying display during the 50th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 14, 2013.
Photographs: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

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No union activity during office hours, Air India tells labour leaders

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The unions have challenged the move and served a legal notice on the airline, asking it to take back the decision.

The reason behind the withdrawal of concession is not known.

While Air India did not respond to an emailed query on the issue, a member of AIEG said the concession had been in place since the 1980s and periodically extended till now.

Withdrawing the concession unilaterally is in violation of the Industrial Disputes Act, he added.

George Abraham, general-secretary, AIEG, said: “There was no discussion with us. We were just handed over a letter.”

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Image: The unions have challenged the move and served a legal notice on the airline, asking it to take back the decision.
Photographs: Reuters

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According to AIEG’s lawyer Ashok Shetty, the airline management is bound to serve a notice under the Industrial Dispute Act before making any change in any the service condition in accordance with a Bombay High Court judgment.

This was not followed in this case, he pointed out.

Currently, Air India has 15 recognised and unrecognised unions.

Union leaders from both narrow-body and wide-body fleet had been given the concession to do full-time union work.

Air India is considering steps to bring down the number of recognised unions in the airline to two -- one for pilots and the other for all other employees.


Image: Air India's aircraft at Mumbai International Airport.
Photographs: Reuters

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