Air India calls meet to integrate its two pilots' unions

Air India has called a meeting of its two pilots' unions in New Delhi today to discuss various issues including integration of the unions and addressing salary discrepancies, according to a report.

The meeting assumes significance as it comes days before the national carrier formally gets inducted as the 27th member of the global airlines' club, Star Alliance, later this week.

"Two pilot unions IPG and ICPA have been called by the management for a high-level meeting at the Airlines House on Monday," PTI cited sources in Mumbai as saying.

While the full agenda of the meeting is not yet known, issues of integration of the unions and salary restructuring plans are expected to be discussed, they said.

Sources said that the management, however, will be holding a meeting with the two unions - Indian Pilots Guild (of Air India) and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (of the erstwhile Indian Airlines) - separately.

The two unions have in the past been at loggerheads, which had even led to an over two-month strike in the carrier two years ago.

"A committee under former labour secretary Krishna Mohan Sahni has recommended to have only three recognised unions at the national carrier, one each in Air India and its engineering and ground handling subsidiaries," sources said.

Besides, the issue of restructuring the salary is also likely to be discussed during tomorrow's meeting, they said adding the management had come out with a plan in April but had to defer its implementation in view of the elections.

The induction into Star Alliance is expected to improve Air India's connectivity to high-growth economies and give the 26 Star Alliance members access to India's domestic aviation market.