After Vistara, Air India Technicians Plan Strike On April 23

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Air India Ltd. is facing further difficulties following Vistara, as aircraft mechanics are preparing to go on strike later this month. The All India Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Union sent a letter to the chief executive officer on April 8 stating that the technicians at AI Engineering Services Ltd., a state-run maintenance, repair, and overhaul company that was formerly an Air India unit, would go on strike on April 23 over a number of issues affecting their “well-being” and “professional growth.” Bloomberg reported on the strike. According to an Air India spokesman, the situation is being closely watched.

The largest client of AI Engineering is Air India. The letter claims that because they haven’t received a promotion in the previous seven years, AI staff members are dissatisfied with the lack of prospects for career progression. For technicians who have worked for the company for at least two years, the management promised a changed compensation structure, but they haven’t delivered on that promise. The letter also stated that the contractual workers, who make up 75% of the company’s employment, felt discriminated against because they aren’t offered the same benefits as permanent employees and must serve longer notice periods.

According to an AI Engineering official, the management has started talking with the union about finding a solution. Due to a pending legal matter, AI Engineering has adjusted the pay of all employees, with the exception of technicians. The report also stated that the union’s withdrawal of a lawsuit requesting equal compensation for contract and permanent employees will force the corporation to review technician salaries.

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