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Air India Express Is Accused Of Mismanagement By India’s Labour Commissioner

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Air India Express
The airline is yet to give details of the curtailed flight schedule. (Reuters)

(CTN News) – Prior to the outbreak of the conflict between Air India Express employees and management, which led to the cancellation of more than 90 flights since Tuesday night, the Regional Labour Commissioner sent a letter to the airline.

In the letter, the Commissioner clearly stated that the grievances raised by the employees were authentic. He also stated that the HR department had made an effort to deceive the conciliation officer.

Since Tuesday night, a total of 300 senior cabin crew members of Air India Express have called in sick abruptly and deactivated their smartphones. This has led to the cancellation of more than 90 flights and leaving numerous customers stranded.

The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) also communicated with management, emphasizing a significant deviation from agreed-upon commitments. In January 2022, the TATA group acquired the government-owned airline.

According to sources from Air India Express, the airline does not acknowledge AIXEU or any other labor union as legally recognized.

Ashok Perumalla, the Regional Labour Commissioner in New Delhi, brought attention to the “flagrant breaches of labor regulations” in an email sent to Air India Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran and other recipients on May 3 (a copy of which is in his possession).

Mr. Perumulla says the Union’s concerns are valid. He further added that Air India Express management has not appointed any competent decision-makers to attend the mediation meetings.

Mismanagement and flagrant labor standards breaches were readily apparent.

Mr. Perumulla suggested establishing a high-level committee to examine employee concerns and the functioning of the HR department, with the aim of promoting “harmonious industrial relations“. Additionally, he emphasized the need for prompt and effective measures to be put into action.

The current discussion is around the implementation of a novel employee evaluation system based on merit. In addition, AIXEU has accused the airline of mismanagement and a failure to provide equal treatment to its employees.

Air India Express position

As to Air India Express sources, the airline does not acknowledge any labor organization and is making efforts to hold a meeting with the protesting crew members to resolve the impasse.

An airline representative explained that a group of our flight attendants fell ill unexpectedly, starting last night, which led to delays and cancellations of flights.

As we collaborate with the crew to investigate the reasons behind these accidents, our staff are actively and vigorously resolving the issue to minimize any inconvenience to our consumers.

“We sincerely apologize to our visitors for this unexpected inconvenience, and we want to emphasize that this situation does not represent the level of service we strive to provide.”

The spokesperson added that guests impacted by cancellations will be provided with either a complete reimbursement or a complimentary rescheduling to an alternative date.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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