New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday promised employees of the "erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines" parity in payscales and working hours in the merged entity but did not unveil any fresh initiatives to end the 25-day strike that has crippled the national carrier.

He said April 1, 2007 "has been set as cutoff date for new pay scales. For the purpose of implementing new pay scales ... there will be uniform pay scale for all employees of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines".

Ajit Singh was addressing a press conference here to unveil the report of the Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari Committee that had been formed to address human resource issues that had arisen after the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.

The members of the Indian Pilots Guild, representing aviators of the erstwhile Air India, have been on strike since May 8 protesting the move to train their counterparts from Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Questioned about this, Ajit Singh reiterated that the pilots should resume work before any negotiations are held. The Dharmadhikari report says the payscale should be as per DPE (department of public enterprises) norms for the executive cadre and as per industry norms for the non-executive cadre.

The committee has also recommended profit-related pay as per DPE guidelines which will be linked to the profit earned by the company and the achievement of various targets. The committee has recommended the constitution of departmental promotion committees (DPCs) to ensure that this is done in a fair and comprehensive manner. Each DPC will have a fair representation from Air India and Indian Airlines and would also include an outside expert. The committee had frozen promotions in 2011.


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