National carrier Air India has sacked 47 members of its cabin crew, for allegedly being absent for long durations. A majority of them are from Mumbai. A show-cause notice has been issued to 20 more, the airline officials said.
However, the cabin crew sources said that the airline management is trying to project a different image to hide the inefficiencies of their HR department.
The issue is related to a scheme, which was introduced in 2009. The scheme offered its employees to take leave without pay for two years, which could be extended up to five years. Around 70-odd cabin crew members applied for the scheme. Further, they were allowed to take up alternative jobs, claim the cabin crew members. The scheme was apparently introduced, to reduce the total number of employees in order to turn around airline's fortune.
"During this period, many of the cabin crew members got lucrative jobs elsewhere and they even communicated about it to the management. But for over two years, there has been no response from the management," said a reliable cabin crew source.
"Not responding to our resignation letter for two long years was a severe deficiency on the part of the HR. Now, they are just trying to give a different picture as many of us, don't want to join the airline and instead are looking for voluntary retirement," said a cabin crew member.
However, airline officials said that the action against the cabin crews were taken only after serving them the notices.
Airline's spokesperson was unavailable for comment.