A grouping of Jet Airways staff has urged the labour department to initiate steps to ”summon” the management of the erstwhile Jet Airways, including former Chairman Naresh Goyal over the non-payment of gratuity and some salary arrears, among others.
In a letter to the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner, Jet Airways Officers and Staff Association also requested for calling the Monitoring Committee, which is handling the matter for the winning bidder, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, and pass a “suitable order” on the issue.
On June 22, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the consortium’s resolution plan for grounded Jet Airways, subject to certain conditions. A seven-member Monitoring Committee has also been formed to manage the day-to-day affairs of Jet Airways till insolvency resolution process is complete. The consortium has already announced that Jet Airways 2.0 will restart domestic operations by the first quarter of 2022 and short haul international flights by the last quarter of the next year. The first flight of Jet Airways would be on Delhi-Mumbai route, it announced earlier this month, adding that the airline would now be headquartered in Delhi instead of Mumbai.
The Association, headed by Kiran Pawaskar, had earlier held a meeting with the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner as well as Regional Labour Commissioner Mumbai as well as on the matter of the “legitimate dues” of its members, who have been affected by the grounding of the carrier nearly two and-a-half year ago. “The NCLT order, which is public now, provides for a very microscopic settlement for employees, which is pegged at Rs 52 crore. Many of the union of the employer had made applications to the NCLT for being made aware of the Resolution Plan through Intervention Application,” the Association said in the letter, the copy of which have been market to Goyal, Jet Airways Management Committee’s Authorised Representative, Ashish Chhawcharria. “Our Union had also made the same and raised questions on payment of gratuity and other benefits to the NCLT. The NCLT made an order that we were not required to be given the details of the plan as we did not meet certain criteria as creditors. Now that the order of the NCLT is out, we are shocked to see no reference to our legal dues at all. ”There appears to be an effort to revive the Company with its own aeroplanes and Air Operator Permit without any consideration to the legitimate and legal dues of the employees. We affirm that gratuity is a statutory due and needs to be settled by the employer without delay/ and make payments with an interest at 12 per cent as awarded by courts,” the Association said in the letter. Stating that the employees have submitted claims to the office of the Company and have not received any response, the association said, “It is therefore necessary on your part to initiate steps to summon the erstwhile Jet Airways management (Chairman, Directors and CEO) to make claim on them and pass suitable orders after a hearing.” It also said that, “considering the gravity of the matter and large unpaid gratuity, it would be in order to call for expeditious hearing in the matter and take necessary steps.” “We request you to kindly call the monitoring Committee, who are handling the matter for the Successful Resolution Applicant (SRA), officials in this matter and pass a suitable order. The Jet Airways 1.0 management has shirked all responsibility of the matter and may not even attend the meeting and hence they need to be summoned to your office by an order of the controlling authority,” it stated. Stating that Naresh Goyal, the former Chairman, can’t “wash away” his responsibility by invoking IBC provisions as there are a large number of employees who left the Company before suspension of operations, it said, ” he is also liable as the Company had violated the Section 4A of the Act. The said violations make him culpable for criminal action along with others involved”.
“We look forward to hearing from you in the matter and take note of the applications made to your office for payment of gratuity. We do reserve our rights to fight for justice at every available forum as the previous promoters and Chairman have left our employees high and dry,” the letter stated. PTI