New Delhi: The Indian Pilots Guild, which is spearheading the 26-day-long pilots' strike, Friday said the Dharmadhikari report highlights the "prejudice and bias" that airline management harbours against the erstwhile Air India employees.
In a statement, the IPG said the report was tailor-made to suit the interests of the employees of erstwhile Indian Airlines.
"We don't have a copy of the full text of Dharmadhikari report, therefore our observations are based on the reports that have appeared in the media.
"It appears that the report is tailor-made to suit the interests of the employees of erstwhile Indian Airlines. It reinforces the bias and prejudice that the management harbours towards the employees of erstwhile Air India vis-a-vis the employees of erstwhile Indian Airlines," the statement said.
On the issue of seniority, the pilots said as per the recommendation, seniority would be based on qualification and date of grade.
"Indian Airlines pilots are promoted to the higher grade in six years, whereas the same promotion for Air India pilots takes up to 10 years. Therefore, an Indian Airlines pilot with less years of service will become senior to an Air India pilot with more years of service," the statement said.
The agitating pilots, further said that if the report recommends common pay scales, then why the management granted a raise of Rs one to 1.5 lakh per month to the salary of 800 odd pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines in November 2011.
"Were the recommendations of the Dharmadhikari Committee report known? Why did the management not ask the pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines to wait for Dharmadhikari Committee report and instead hurriedly granted them salary raise in November 2011? This demands an enquiry by the CAG/CVC," they said, adding this was done when the company was making losses and the employees were facing major delays in payment of wages.
On the issue of cross utilisation of pilots, the IPG said the Dharmadhikari report mentions that the pilots may be cross utilised between the Airbus and Boeing fleets.
"This completely ignores the cost aspect of cross training between Airbus and Boeing. This is a gross wastage of tax payer resources. The sole purpose of this recommendation of cross utilisation is to provide career prospects benefit to the pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines.
"Further, if cross utilisation was supposed to be under the purview of the Dharmadhikari Committee, therefore why did the management decide on cross utilisation (ratio of 1:1) on the Boeing 787, in October 2011, even before the recommendations of the Dharmadhikari Committee report were known," they asked.
The now de-recognised union said that the ever since the merger, the pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines have achieved a salary raise and enhanced career prospects by virtue of cross-utilisation.
"Whereas the careers of the pilots of erstwhile Air India has stagnated and have in fact deteriorated vis a vis the pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines. Instead of being a merger of two companies, the present situation increasingly looks like a hostile takeover of Air India by Indian Airlines," the agitating pilots said.