"This (employees' integration) is necessary if the merger (in Air India) has to succeed, if Air India has to survive. The government is giving Rs 30,000 crore .... One thing is clear. Government will not give public money anymore to Air India," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters here.
He also asked the striking pilots that their demands relating to their career progression can be examined only after they returned to work. "They should unilaterally call off their strike. The (Delhi) High Court has also said the same thing. It is an illegal strike. We will consider all their demands after they join back," Singh said.
Announcing a roadmap for implementation of the Justice DM Dharmadhikari Committee recommendations on HR integration of the employees of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines, he said there would be parity in pay scales and uniform working conditions for all staffers. The airlines were merged in 2007.
However, the pay scales and allowance structure for pilots, engineers, cabin crew and technicians would be determined on the basis of industry norms. "Since these issues are not dealt with by DPE guidelines, the Union Cabinet's approval is required."
A panel of officials has been set up for implementation of various recommendations on pay fixation, level-mapping of all employees and their promotional avenues.
This panel, called the Implementation-cum-Anomaly Committee, would seek the views of all sections of employees and complete its task within the next 45 days, Singh said.
"We will be patient and persuasive in talking to the employees. They will realise their future depends on the future of Air India," he said.