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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

May 13, 2014 10:55 IST

Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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Sharmistha Mukherjee

A committee headed by Krishna Mohan Sahni, former secretary in the Ministry of Labour, has submitted its final report to Air India, recommending modalities to drastically cut the number of recognised unions in the airline. 

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Image: Currently Air India has 15 trade unions attached to it.
Photographs: Reuters

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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The recommendation was aimed at facilitating efficient decision-making during negotiations between the management and union representatives.

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Image: Air India will have to rationalise workforce to mitigate losses.
Photographs: Reuters

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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A senior Air India executive said, “A four-member committee headed by Krishna Mohan Sahni has submitted its report.

The committee members spoke to a cross-section of people and took into account the views of all factions.

They have recommended norms for recognising and synergising operations between unions associated with erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines.”

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Image: Air India mascot.
Photographs: Courtesy, Shakti/Wikimedia Commons

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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Currently, Air India has 15 recognised and unrecognised unions.

The committee, mandated to determine the norms, processes and modalities for recognition of unions associated with Air India, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) and Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), held 31 meetings with about 660 employees. 

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Image: A security personnel stands guard as Air India's Dreamliner Boeing 787 taxies upon its arrival at the airport in New Delhi.
Photographs: Mani Thapliyal/Reuters

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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Besides Sahni, other members of the committee include Raja Sridhar, executive board member, International Transport Workers’ Federation; former chief labour commissioner S K Mukhopadhya; and Ajit Nigam (advisor (human resources), Ircon International.

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Image: Air India has to revive fortunes of the airline in order to receive funds from the government.
Photographs: Reuters

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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The airline executive said, “The committee has done exhaustive research, studying the union set-up in the transport sector, in other airlines and recommended options depending on varying scenarios. It would allow us to be flexible in our approach and yet, go ahead with the rationalistaion drive.”

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Image: In order to beat competition from industry players, Air India will have to improve services.
Photographs: Reuters

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Sahni panel suggests cut in number of Air India staff unions

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The carrier has been considering steps to cut the number of recognised unions in the airline to two — one for pilots and the other for all other employees.

The selection of the two unions will be through an electoral process. Together, AIESL and AIATSL will have another three recognised unions.

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Image: Air India has had a tough time grappling with salary related issues with its unions.
Photographs: Reuters

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A final decision of the specifics of the rationalisation drive will, however, be determined at a board meeting soon.

“We had a blue print in mind. But the final decision regarding the number of recognised unions we choose to have will be determined on the basis on the report in the board meeting,” said another executive.

The overall count of Air India employees is estimated at 25,000 (including those of its two subsidiaries).


Image: Air India will have to improve cash-flow to survive, say experts.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
Tags: Air India

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