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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Air India Express union criticises chargesheets for cabin crew members over mass sick leave protest

Air India Express union criticises chargesheets for cabin crew members over mass sick leave protest

Updated on: 10 June,2024 03:18 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

On May 7, roughly 200 cabin crew members of Air India Express went on strike in protest of alleged mismanagement, resulting in hundreds of aircraft cancellations.

Air India Express union criticises chargesheets for cabin crew members over mass sick leave protest

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The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) has attacked the airline's management for issuing chargesheets to around 200 cabin crew members who claimed sick during last month's strike. The union deemed this action unpleasant and unfair labour practice. The union cautioned in a letter to Air India Express CEO Alok Singh on Sunday that such actions could hurt the firm and its passengers. According to union sources, the chargesheets were sent on June 5 and had a 72-hour response deadline, reported PTI. 


On May 7, roughly 200 cabin crew members went on strike in protest of alleged mismanagement, resulting in hundreds of aircraft cancellations. In response, the airline terminated the employment of 25 cabin crew workers and told others to return to work or risk similar consequences. The strike ended on May 9 following a conciliatory conference between cabin crew representatives and airline management at Delhi's Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) office, the report stated. 


"The chargesheet was issued by the Chief of HR to many of the cabin crew members regarding their sick reports. It is very unfortunate and constitutes unfair labour practice to reopen the case and issue chargesheets for matters that have already been settled through conciliation. The termination orders of the 25 cabin crew members were also withdrawn during conciliation based on the settlement agreement," the Union, which is affiliated to the RSS, said in the letter.


AIXEU president KK Vijayakumar recommended that the management not from rehashing previously resolved issues, instead urging cooperation to build industrial relations. The union stated that the problem was amicably handled on May 9 and that pursuing chargesheets would exacerbate industrial relations. The union also stated that the flight cancellations following the settlement were due to operational issues with new software deployment, not the fault of the cabin staff. The letter concluded by urging airline management to preserve positive labour relations and avoid punitive measures that could spark more protests, the PTI report stated. 

"Such actions could be detrimental to the interests of the enterprise and its passengers. Instead, I urge you to seek opportunities for cooperation to strengthen our industrial relations. Pursuing the chargesheet and initiating punitive action against employees would only lead to unpleasant situations and worsen the already affected industrial relations," said the Union in their letter. 

"It was clearly stated in the last hearing held on May 28 in front of the CLC that no punitive action would be initiated against the employees in this regard," the Union said.

"Additionally, since the issue was settled on May 9, I believe that the employees were available for duty the following day. However, numerous flight cancellations occurred due to data loss from newly introduced software, as no backup was maintained by the concerned department and no training was provided to handle the software. This operational lapse is being misrepresented as the fault of the cabin crew employees," the Union said in the letter.

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