The Civil Aviation Ministry along with the Union government is preparing a plan to impose wage cuts, as well as retrenchment, on Air India workers. This is aimed at making the company "profitable", according to the media.
The government considers the "phenomenon wage bill" as well as the large number of employees (31,000) as the source of the problem, and hence is working on proposals to cut wages and retrench.
According to the government, workers of Jet and Kingfisher earn 15-20% less than Air India workers. However, the government has advised Air India management to not take any measures till the end of the Commonwealth games, for fear of workers actions. It may be noted that Air India is the official flier for the games.
The 12 trade unions of Air India are aware of the government's tactics and moves. They have announced that the management, which was supposed to consult with them, the restructuring plan for Air India in July, has thus far not done so. It is time that the workers of Air India and their unions charted their course of action, without waiting for the axe to fall on their necks.