Air India’s HR policies, draconian, unethical: Pilot bodies

Chennai: Terming the human resource (HR) policy of Air India Ltd as “draconian approach” and “driven by a lack of trust”, two pilot bodies have appealed to the Tata Group Chairman N. Chandrasekaran to intervene and rectify the situation.

“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.

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”.

The unions said the HR department of Air India appeared 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.

According to the unions, 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.

“The philosophy of the current HR leadership at Air India appears to be significantly divergent from the esteemed and compassionate principles espoused by the late Mr. JRD Tata and the Chairman Emeritus, the respected Mr. 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.


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