Hundreds of Air India Express cabin crew members look set to launch an indefinite strike over allegations of discrimination related to contracts for new and existing employees.
In a statement given to local press, the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU), a trade union representing the interests of the airline employees, confirmed that a strike notice had been sent to Aloke Singh, the company’s CEO, regarding their plan to strike from January 15, 2022.
More than 500 cabin crew claim that AIE management has shown discrimination against staff when issuing employment contracts.
According to AIXEU president Vijaykumar KK, newcomers to the company have been offered a five-year contract, while employment agreements for more experienced staff has been significantly shortened.
“The contract period for cabin crew was reduced to one year from five years. At the same time, the contracts of other staff and new recruits are for five years. We met the management nine times in the presence of the central labor commissioner to resolve the issue but we didn’t get any positive response,” Vijaykumar KK explained.
Disappointed senior employees asked Air India Express to reconsider the contract terms for cabin crew and warned the airline that they will proceed with their plan to strike if management does not respond favorably.
AIXEU members constitute more than 70% of Air India Express cabin crew, and a strike will lead to disruptions in the carrier’s flight operations.