Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air India Airport Services Ltd (AIASL), will provide jobs to a family member of employees who succumb to the coronavirus, as per a notice issued by the company on Saturday.
The notice signed by the general manager (personnel) states, “In view of this national crisis, it has been decided by the competent authority of AIASL that the company, on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, will render support the family of the deceased employees [due to COVID-19)] from AIASL, Air India or its subsidiaries, by giving suitable employment to a family member.”
The development comes after a 58-year-old Air India (AI) pilot, who retired in April this year, passed away on June 5 due to suspected COVID-19. Though the retired employee’s family is not eligible for a job, unions had raised the demand.
AIASL, headed by ex-Air India executive director Ashvini Sharma, also announced that the employment provided will be as per the terms of engagement in the company and at the airports which are served by the company.
AIASL offers ground handling services to 81 airports in the country. During the nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic, AIASL staff have handled around 1,895 flights from March 25 to June 4, and have been supporting cargo operations under the Central government’s regional connectivity scheme — Udey Desh Ka Aam Naagarik (UDAN). The staffers have also handled flights under the Vande Bharat mission.
JB Kadian, general secretary of Air India’s largest employee union — Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) — had written to the airline’s Chairman and MD Rajiv Bansal on May 30, requesting AI to include staff members attached to its subsidiaries in the medical insurance cover for COVID-19 frontline warriors.
The letter stated, “Air India and its subsidiary staff do not find any mention in the scheme announced by the government and equally surprising is the fact that they do not find any mention in the welfare insurance schemes of the airline. We would request you to be kind enough to include these staff of Air India and ensure implementation of the insurance scheme in line with and in the same manner as is announced by the government for Covid-19 frontline warriors.”
This would also be applicable for AIESL, Air India Express, and Alliance Air. This support, in terms of a job, which will be extended on humanitarian grounds is a much welcome move for staffers who have been on the frontline of fighting the pandemic.