Employee anger is now adding to Indian aviation’s air safety troubles

Indian aviation, which has witnessed a series of air safety accidents in the past few months, now has another problem to deal with: disgruntled staff.

A majority of the technicians — at 14 aircraft stations — of low-cost airline GoFirst have gone on a mass leave starting July 10 in protest against low wages and salaries. The protest started with some of them reporting sick in Delhi.

On July 11, they were joined by technicians from Mumbai and Bengaluru, along with 70 cabin crew, The Hindu reported quoting unnamed sources.

By now, some 110 cabin crew have also joined the protest in a show of support.

The Mumbai-based firm’s technicians haven’t reportedly been paid for nearly 18 months. A technician with the carrier earns a monthly salary of 19,403 rupees ($243.60) a month; its senior technicians earn up to Rs22,098.

GoFirst isn’t alone

No-frills carrier IndiGo saw its technicians go on mass leave earlier this month over poor salaries. It launched disciplinary action against them. There is unrest at the newly-privatised Air India, too. Its employees’ union has written a letter to authorities about unfair salaries.

Pilots at SpiceJet are also up in arms. And that, too, at a time when the airline is under the scanner for poor air safety norms. Its pilots are angry over not having received the company’s contribution towards their provident fund since 2020, even as pay cuts continue.

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