Air India staff unions write to PM Modi; flag concerns about stake sale
In a letter, signed by representatives of the eight unions, they have also flagged possibility of job losses in case of privatisation.
Air Corporation Employees Union, All India Service Engineers’ Association, Air India Employees Union, Aviation Industry Employee Guild, Air India Aircraft Engineers’ Association, All India Aircraft Engineers’ Association, Air India Engineers Association and United Air India Officers Association have written the letter.
Together, these unions represent more than 10,000 Air India employees.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has sought Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential bidders for a 76 per cent stake sale in loss-making Air India as well as divestment of two of the carrier’s subsidiaries.
“We strongly protest Government of India’s move to privatise or disinvest Air India/subsidiaries as it is against the interest of the country and urge the government to review its decision… and explore the possibility of an alternative to disinvestment/ privatisation,” it said.
According to the letter, a copy of which has been seen by PTI, the unions said Air India can be restored to its “pristine glory” if debt worth Rs 30,000 crore is waived off or the loan is restructured and a proper roadmap is put in place with effective management.
Referring to the previous NDA government’s decision to sell two Centaur Hotels properties in Mumbai, the letter said there have been job losses after it.
“In our view, privatisation of Air India should be completely avoided with an effective revival plan with the participation of employees. It is also urged to write off/ restructure the loan for Air India revival instead of giving benefit to any private entity,” the letter, dated April 3, said.
Among others, the unions noted that the airline has never defaulted on interest repayments.