In the Industrial Dispute Act 1947, non-workman is an employee who is mainly in managerial or administrative capacity, or who draws wages exceeding Rs 10,000 per month.

Besides, armed forces and police personnel have also been kept out of the workmen category as they are governed by different laws.

"The Ministry has contended that since aircraft engineers certify an aircraft, which is a supervisory role, and pilots' jobs are highly-paid ones, they should be removed from the
workmen category," the Aviation Ministry sources sought.

The previous UPA government had in 2012 considered the idea after the national carrier was hit by a series of strikes by its pilots and engineers over different issues.

"The Labour Ministry had, however, turned down the proposal on certain grounds," the sources said.

The Aviation Ministry has this time made a strong pitch with fresh arguments to explain the rationale of its renewed proposal to the Labour Ministry, they explained.

A Parliamentary panel had also, in 2009, suggested that the government lay down a list of "highly paid jobs" which are currently tagged as "workman".

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