Transfers in AAI upset personnel

Executive personnel in various wings of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport are being transferred amidst the pandemic-induced lockdown and despite an order not to transfer employees in view of the ongoing privatisation.

Over 20 executives working in the electric, civil, motor transport, CNS, and other wings at the airport have got transfer orders to Agartala, and Arunchal Pradesh and the upcoming airport projects in Bihar and Agatti.

Many of the transfers are to remote stations and places considered as unpopular. Those transferred have been asked to report for duty by August 10.

The transfer orders have come amidst the lockdown, closure of educational institutions, and non-availability of transit accommodation. The trade unions and associations have requested the AAI to avoid the general transfers in view of the prevailing conditions and the spurt in COVID-19 cases.

“Besides upsetting the family and education of the children, the AAI will have to spend Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh for each employee towards TA and DA alone. In all, 500 people had been transferred and this would be a huge liability,” an AAI trade union leader said.

Final stage

The orders had been issued when the management had not even considered request transfers, he said. It was also a clear violation of the directive not to transfer employees as privatisation was in the final stage, he said.

The posts of Assistant General Manager (AGM), Deputy General Manager, and Head of Department are remaining vacant in various wings of the AAI.

“When three AGMs were transferred from the electrical wing, one assistant manager was posted. No effort is made to fill the vacant posts,” says an AAI employee

“We are not against these transfers. But the prevailing situation should be considered. Securing accommodation will be a headache in these testing times. The transfers should be kept pending for six months,” one of the aggrieved employees said.

AAI stance

A top AAI official said the transfers were inevitable and had been limited to the barest minimum and added that all factors, including privatisation, were taken into account.

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