Air India has informed employees that it is no longer accepting withdrawals of resignations and several cabin crew employees are being relieved as the national carrier has said implicitly “it does not have the financial ability to pay”.
It is also learnt that a number of cabin crew were terminated on Thursday night by Air India.
A letter reviewed by IANS from Air India’s personnel department to a pilot makes the company’s stand clear. An employee had resigned due to non-payment of salaries but thereafter withdrew the resignation.
Air India personnel department said in the letter that this request for withdrawal of resignation cannot be acceded to. “Having considered your request, please be informed that the Company is no longer accepting any withdrawal of resignation”, Air India said.
It said this is in consonance with the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case Air India Express and Others versus Capt Gurdarshan Kaur Sandhu where the apex court was pleased to settle the law in relation to withdrawal of resignations so far as pilots were concerned.
“The court while examining the purpose of notice period, held that given the nature of pilot’s job requiring long training periods and costs would fall in the exception and the general laws on withdrawal of resignation would not apply to him,” Air India said.
“You would further appreciate that the company is already severely strained financially. Further the global pandemic Covid-19 has resulted in extraordinary and exceptional circumstances by gravely reducing the commercial functioning of the company leading to redundancies,” it said.
“The current operations are a small fraction of the pre-Covid levels and are unlikely to increase in the near foreseeable future. The company is incurring huge net losses and does not have the financial ability to pay,” Air India said.