Air India Express faces regulatory scrutiny as Labour ministry issues show cause notice over cabin crew management dispute

The Union labour ministry has reportedly issued a show cause notice to Air India Express, now owned by the Tata Group, for alleged violations of regulations related to disputes between the airline’s management and cabin crew members.

The notice is linked to concerns raised by cabin crew members, including issues with room sharing during layovers. A complaint was filed with the labour department, and the matter is currently under conciliation as per the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, reported news agency PTI.

Air India Express, acquired by the Tata Group in January of the previous year, implemented certain policies that were subject to the conciliation process. As per the news agency’s report, the show cause notice alleges that the airline modified the service conditions of the workers while the conciliation proceedings under labour law regarding the disputes were ongoing.

The notice questions why action should not be initiated against the airline and its management for the alleged violation of Section 33 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which pertains to conditions of service remaining unchanged during the pendency of conciliation proceedings.

The Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) under the Office of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (C) in the national capital has reportedly issued the show cause notice to Air India Express, added the PTI report.

Last month, the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) had written to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia regarding various grievances raised by the airline’s cabin crew members. Concerns included room sharing during layovers and the curtailment of service contracts for some members.

In response to previous queries about these concerns, an Air India Express spokesperson mentioned that the integration between the airline and AIX Connect is ongoing, aligning policies and practices across both entities.

This includes crew members sharing rooms on layovers, which is consistent with market practices followed by other airlines in India and the region. Air India Express, a profitable entity, is currently in the process of merging the loss-making AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) with itself.

Published By:

Koustav Das

Published On:

Dec 4, 2023

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