Air India announces leave sans pay

 The scheme allows permanent employees to take leave for up to two years without pay or allowances and return to join at the same level where he or she was, an AI notice issued on Thursday said.

The decision of the management came a few days after the unions suggested several schemes, including the leave-without-pay scheme, to cut costs, while maintaining the interests of the employees.

In Mumbai, the airline announced it had set up a committee comprising representatives of the management and the unions to turn around the airline.

The committee would identify the key areas of cost savings for the airline and would give a presentation to the management on July 3, AI spokesperson Jitendra Bhargava, told reporters here.

The committee will be in addition to the nine joint committees, which have been set up by Air India to look into various issues relating to the national carrier.

The decisions came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance to the beleaguered airline of complete backing, but with a rider that it would immediately restructure by cutting costs and flab and overhaul its top management to become “leaner and trimmer”.

In Mumbai, the unions hardened their stand, saying there could not be any renegotiation of the wage agreement with the management.

“We have told the management that we will not renegotiate the agreement on wages,” a NACIL (National Aviation Company of India Ltd) union leader said.

Their assertion came in the wake of the management proposing a wage cut to tide over the financial crunch faced by the airline.

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