The Air India pilots' union has written a letter to the management and said that they would stop working if the airline fails to vaccinate the flying crew on priority. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) raised concerns on Tuesday about the flying crew not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and pointed out that many crew members have tested positive. ICPA said that the crew has been risking their lives during the pandemic.
"It is disheartening to witness the top management make a mockery of pilots discharging their duties in a risky environment. We were hoping that Air India would not let down the crew and their families who stand by the nation during this pandemic. We feel let down by the self-serving approach of the management, which sees no injustice in organising vaccine camps at few bases but excludes pilots," it said.
The union said that due to their unwavering support Vande Bharat Mission and relief operations continue to run smoothly even in the face of deadlier strains of the virus but all they get is a discriminatory pay cut in return.
The ICPA said that it is not in the position to risk lives of pilots without vaccination as there is no healthcare support, no insurance and a 'massive opportunistic' pay cut. "If Air India fails to set up vaccination camps on a pan-India basis for the flying crew above the age of 18 years on priority, we will STOP WORK (sic)," the letter stated as mentioned in Hindustan Times.
The letter stated that their finances are already spread thin covering bedridden colleagues and provisioning for families lest they inadvertently infect them with the deadly virus. Air India is yet to respond to the letter.