22-Jun-2012 10:44 AM

Report of expert committee on HR issues of merged Air India

India's Ministry of Civil Aviation published (21-Jun-2012) the Justice Dharmadhikari Committee report on the human resources issues at Air India created as a result of the 2007 merger between Air India and Indian Airlines. Key recommendations on ways and means of harmonisation and rationalisation of the merged workforce include:

  • Pay scales: Fixed pay scales should be as per Indian Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines from Apr-2007, when the carriers merged;
  • Workforce levels: New approach to be taken to determine necessary manpower at various levels of Air India, reflecting operational requirements. Establish a fresh setup with revised hierarchy of positions for the merged entity;
  • Seniority: Seniority to be granted to workers having longer period of service at either Air India or Indian Airlines, above a worker of the same grade with a shorter period of service;
    • Pilots and engineers: Granted line seniority based on aircraft for which they are trained and licensed;
    • Cabin crew: Common seniority, pay structure and career progression;
  • Promotion and career progression: Establishment of departmental promotion committees to recommend and review promotions, formed of equal numbers of workers from Air India or Indian Airlines. All promotions to be vacancy based on the basis of seniority with due regard to merit. No age bar put on promotions;
  • Pay linked incentives: Currently paid “without appropriate linkage to operational and financial performance”. Recommend use of DPE guidelines or abandonment of PLI, to be replaced with alternative schemes;
  • Free Passage Policy: To be restricted to close blood relations who are dependent on employees;
  • Voluntary Retirement Scheme: Formulation of a VRS, available to all employees with a sizable proportion of the benefits available in the form of an Employees Stock Option Plan. In view of “severe financial constraints” at the carrier, it may approach the Indian Government to support a viable VRS scheme, including a listing stock market. 7000 employees eligible for retirement in the next five years. [more - original PR]

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