Trouble is now brewing at Jet Airways, with over 700 technicians quietly protesting against “extreme work conditions”.
These technicians, stationed across the country, have been on a protest for the last six days.
The employees wear black badges to highlight their cause. According to the employees, Jet Airways makes them work extended hours without breaks to ensure planes are available for flights. They have also accused the airline of paying them paltry salary of around Rs. 15,000 per month, not commensurate with the work that they put in. Jet Airways has categorically denied these allegations.
“We have been made to work for up to 12 hours a day without any break and that too in extreme climatic conditions. . We are not provided with basic infrastructure.
We are paid one-tenth of the salary given to our counterparts working in Gulf-based airlines. The meagre salary comes 15 days late,” said an employee, who did not wish to be named. Jet Airways has, however, denied these allegations. Nevertheless, it has admitted that a wage-related issue is under discussion. “Jet Airways has always adopted an open-door policy with all its staff, including its technicians. In addition, a management team is in constant dialogue with them and explaining to them the commercial and other challenges given the present economic state, ” a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
“Jet Airways has always met and will continue to honour all its obligations to its employees and external stakeholders alike,” the company said.
Employee protest is not new at Jet Airways. A six-day pilots’ strike grounded the airline in 2009. The protesting employees with Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) degrees are the ones who receive and dispatch planes at terminals and work at the tarmac and hangers to get planes ready for flight. They do not have power to certify a flight but are crucial to make planes air-worthy.