Air India is yet to pay its employees their salaries for the month of May, sources in the airline told Fortune India on Thursday.
Air India refused to comment on the issue.
“We have been getting our salaries pretty late for the past three months,” said an employee, on condition of anonymity. “Every time we approached the management for an answer, their only response was there is a shortage of funds and hence the delay.”
This comes a week after the national airline failed to draw any bids for the government’s strategic disinvestment plan, which involves selling a 76% stake in the carrier. The airline’s debt stood at more than Rs 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017, media reports said.
Employees’ unions have taken note of the issue. The Air India Employees Union, on June 4, wrote to the airline’s chairman and managing director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, about non-payment of salaries to employees of Air India Ltd and Air India Engineering Services Ltd.
The Indian Commercial Pilot Association (ICPA), too, has written to the airline’s central executive committee, threatening to stop cooperating with the management if the salaries were not paid immediately.
“The REC (Regional Executive Committee) has decided to stop complete cooperation with the management till the time salary payment is regularised and normal functioning is restored," ICPA said in its letter dated June 6.
"This government wants to close down Air India and such an action will give them the reason to do so," said another employee.
Interestingly, the management had disbursed the salaries of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd employees on June 2.