In a strongly-worded letter addressed to the Executive Director of Air India’s CMS and Integration Wing, the cabin crew of the airlines stated that the newly issued order requiring cabin crew to share rooms was ‘inhuman and idiotic’.
The order mandates air hostesses and cabin crew check-in to three-star or four-star hotels, and share hotel rooms in a ‘gender-sensitive manner’, as a measure of cost-cutting.
According to The Times of India, the order, issued by Amrita Sharan, ED of IR and integration, said:
With regard to hotel accommodation to cabin crew, it has been decided that with immediate effect:- 1. Cabin Crew will be provided hotel rooms in 3/4 Star Hotels as far as possible. 2. The booking will be on twin sharing basis. The above is to be immediately implemented for all the Cabin Crew who have been recruited in 2017 onwards. 3. The gender sensitivity issue is to be kept in mind while allotting rooms to the Cabin Crew.
In a letter addressed to Sharan, Rohit Mehta, a member of the Air India cabin crew took down three points mentioned in the email.
Taking a jibe at Sharan’s ‘competence’, Mehta, at the very beginning of his letter, wrote:
…Authorities not competent enough to save Air India but to authorize such inhuman and idiotic orders suggested by some incompetent person maybe like you.
With regard to the first point, Mehta mentioned that the crew had already been staying at 2-star hotel, and on occasion at 3-star hotels, so as to save costs.
Moving on to the second point, Mehta stated that the rooms were already booked on twin-sharing basis to facilitate immediate family members who were traveling along with the crew.
As far as the third point is concerned, Mehta wrote:
In the year 2018, you and competent authority are still not aware that gender sensitivity issues can arise with same gender, we hereby refrain to go in to the details as this is self explanatory and a sensitive issue.
Earlier, the All India Cabin Crew Association general secretary Sanjay Lazar too registered their protest via a written communication addressed to the management. The letter, which was accessed by TOI, read:
The Cabin Crew of Air India are at the forefront of Passenger service and forms the backbone of the revival of our Airline. Lest it be misconstrued, the Cabin Crew have made umpteen sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty, and will continue to work towards our turnaround, however it cannot be perceived as inequitable targeting.
The cabin crew, which employs close to 3,000 persons, have reportedly faced maximum brunt of Air India’s cost-cutting measures. According to TOI, the crew has an almost-defunct rostering system, have arrears in their salaries, and zero appreciation, among many other issues.