Pilot bodies of Air India urge Tata group boss to re-look HR policies

Unions claim that HR policies characterised by a draconian approach, driven by a lack of trust and aimed at curtailing the autonomy of employees, began to roll out

Air India HR Policy

Chennai: Two pilot bodies have urged the Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran to intervene and correct the human resource (HR) policy of Air India Ltd, which, according to them are “draconian” in nature and “driven by a lack of trust”.

“Tata has always prided itself on its fair and ethical practices. However, the actions of the HR department with regard to the pilots are completely contrary to these values. The pilots are being subjected to unfair treatment. It is clear that the HR department is flouting the laws and regulations that are in place to protect the rights of employees. The pilots are being subjected to a hostile work environment,” says a joint letter by the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG).

“It is imperative that the spiteful ideology of the human resource department (of Air India) be addressed promptly to prevent any potential adverse effects on the growth prospects of our esteemed airline,” the unions told the chairman.

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The pilot unions said they were hopeful and excited when the Tata Group bought the Air India as the group was reputed to “have the most phototropic and holistic management style amongst the leading organisations of the world”. However, the HR department of Air India seemed to be focused on dismantling, restructuring, or even replacing the human assets of the airline.

“HR policies characterised by a draconian approach, driven by a lack of trust and aimed at curtailing the autonomy of employees, began to roll out,” the unions alleged, adding that the response of Air India’s human resources department to their issues were at odds with the public perception of the Tata Group as a compassionate employer known for their empathy towards their employees.

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“The current HR leadership at Air India is working in contrast to the esteemed and compassionate principles espoused by the late JRD Tata and the chairman emeritus respected Ratan Tata,” the joint letter notes. The unions are against the Air India’s move to unilaterally change the service conditions of some of the pilots in the guise of promotion.

DGCA probes entry of a pilot’s female friend in cockpit

Aviation regulator director general of civil aviation (DGCA) is probing the incident of an Air India pilot allowing a female friend into the cockpit during a Dubai-Delhi flight on February 27. The airline is also investigating in to the matter after the airline took serious note of the alleged breach of conduct by the pilot.

An Air India spokesperson on Friday said the airline has zero tolerance in aspects related to the safety and well-being of passengers and will take requisite action about the incident. The incident is said to have happened on February 27 and a complaint was filed by a cabin member of that Dubai-Delhi flight to the DGCA.

A DGCA official on Friday said the regulator is conducting an investigation into the matter.

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