Will withdraw post-retirement benefits: AI warns ex-employees of speaking out against airline

Seven unions have already written to the government threatening protests if AI gets privatised

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National carrier Air India has warned its former employees of severe consequences such as withdrawal of post-retirement benefits if they speak out against the airline on social media.

The Cabinet has given an in-principle approval for the disinvestment of debt-laden Air India (AI). Its employees, including those retired, are staring at an uncertain future.

As many as seven unions have written to the government threatening mass protests if the airline is privatised.

"It is unacceptable that a person who is availing post-retirement facilities like passage, medical etc from Air India talks against the company. Retired personnel who make such negative comments with the intention of tarnishing the image of the company will themselves be responsible for cessation of their post-retirement facilities," according to an internal order by AI issued on June 21 with the approval of Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, Ashwani Lohani.

The circular notes that the warning follows instances of its former workers seeking to "taint" the company on public fora.

"It has been noticed in the recent past that a few retired personnel of Air India are tarnishing the image of the company by posting negative remarks of the company on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and also electronic and print media," the order read.

Former employees are entitled to free flights and contributory medical allowances. An employee who retires after 30 years with the company can avail 24 free flight tickets, of which 25% can be used for international travel as well.

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