Under the resolution plan, which was cleared recently by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the payment would be made only if 95% of Jet employees give their acceptance to the plan within the next three months. But with no word in the NCLT order even on statutory dues like gratuity and with no clarity on their pending dues, Jet Airways employees have found themselves in a fix.
“Jet has asked employees to cast a vote, either a yes or no, to the plan cleared by NCLT. But the plan hardly offers about 0.5% of the total sum owed to each employee. It is as good as zero,” said Kiran Pawaskar, president, All India Jet Airways Officers and Staff Association. “If the issue isn’t resolved, we will challenge this in the court,” he told TOI.
The association sent a letter recently to the new civil aviation minister, labour minister and regional labour commissioner. “On preliminary perusal of the resolution plan we found no reference to the claims of the employees. A very paltry amount has been proposed as a resolution in the insolvency and bankruptcy process. The company over its 26 years of existence has a large work force and many of them have worked for long parts of their lives,” it said.
Jet Airways owes an undisputed sum of Rs 15,400 crore to its creditors, out of which Rs 1,254 crore is owed to its workers and employees in the form of unpaid salaries, gratuity etc. A Jet staffer said, “Jet owes each commander about Rs 85 lakh and about Rs 3 lakh to the lowest paid employee. The quantum that the workers stand to lose under the resolution plan is shocking.”
The cash payment proposed by Kalrock-Jalan for each worker is a token sum of Rs 11,000 and then Rs 5,100 towards medical reimbursements for workmen’s parents, Rs 6,200 as reimbursement for workmen’s children and a one-time mobile recharge of Rs 500.
Amit Kelkar of Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association has been with Jet for 24 years. “We and our team of lawyers are studying the NCLT order and other related documents in detail and shall take a decision after carefully considering all aspects,” he said.
Jet Airways had suspended its flights in April 2019. In October last year, Jet Airways committee of creditors approved the revival plan submitted by the Kalrock-Jalan consortium. It proposed to invest Rs 600 crore to repay creditors to acquire about 90% stake in the carrier.