Air India wants crewmembers to pay cost of stitching new uniform

Mar 18, 2015, 07:57 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

AI is planning to bring in new mustard yellow uniform for crewmembers by next week, but staff has refused to wear it as the management expects them to pay cost of stitching from their own pockets

While the national carrier may have spent R8 crore to replace the crewmembers red, white and black uniform with a mustard yellow ensemble, it seems to be reluctant to pay for the cost of stitching.

The national carrier’s cleaners (left) sport almost the same shirt fabric (right) as the new shirt for male crewmembers of AI 
The national carrier’s cleaners (left) sport almost the same shirt fabric (right) as the new shirt for male crewmembers of AI

The crewmembers have been told to start donning the new uniform by March 23, however, they are not only unhappy with the quality of their new outfit, but also with Air India telling them to manage the cost of stitching from their own pocket.

mid-day report on March 7

For the airline crew to start wearing the new uniform from next week, the management has handed over the dress material, and given them a tailor’s number. However, the crew has not given the material to stitch yet as they have been asked to manage the cost on their own. “When I went to collect my dress material, I was given a tailor’s number. I inquired about the stitching cost and they said I will have to manage it on my own,” said a crewmember.

A senior official in Air India said, “Eight years back, when the national carrier had changed its uniform, the stitching cost of the new uniform was handed over to the tailor by AI who took the measurement of the crew and gave them the uniform. At that time, the crew was really excited to start wearing the new uniform.”

“Crewmembers are refusing to spend money on the stitching cost as they are getting no allowance for it. In addition, the fabric of the shirt for men in the new design is similar to that of the housekeeping staff of the company, which the male crewmembers are not happy with. Both male and female employees have also been asked to manage footwear on their own.

Since there has been no circular related specifically to the stitching from the management, the crewmembers have written to authorities on Monday,” said an official. In the letter (mid-day has a copy), the All India Cabin Crew Association expressed its concerns about the uniform to the national carrier.

The letter reads, “We are now given to understand the process for stitching the uniforms has not been put in place and there is no clarity on who will tailor the same. Also asking the Cabin Crew to stitch the same will be both a time consuming exercise and an additional burden on the company.

The Crew will have to choose a good tailor to get a good and perfect fit.” The association also highlighted how the new mustard uniform has similarities with the Jet Airways’ yellow uniform for crew. “It is neither a guarantee nor the responsibility of the crew that the tailors will adhere to the time frame, which is less than 10 days time,” the letter concludes.

On March 7, mid-day had reported that by the end of the month the national carrier’s crewmembers would be wearing the new ensembles designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) at the cost of Rs 8 crore. The proposal came up in early 2014 and the tender was issued in July 2014.

The other side
The AI spokesperson said, “The information is incorrect. The airline has given out circulars and is taking care of the new uniforms for crew members.”

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