SC/ST crew want to be included in VVIP flights

The Air-India Cabin Crew Association is peeved at the management for its "discriminatory" policy in assigning cabin crew to operate VVIP flights, especially in the case of scheduled caste/scheduled tribe members.

"The privilege of flying with the President or prime minister and other dignitaries is an honour that each cabin crew member would cherish for the rest of his/her life... The management has studiously ignored crew belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes," the association wrote to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee recently.

"Over the past decade, if any member has been selected, it has been more by accident than by design," it said.

In view of President K R Narayanan's visit to China, scheduled to begin on May 28, Ramdas Athawale, Member of Parliament, wrote a similar letter to Vajpayee last week, urging him to look into this sensitive issue for "promoting the cause of social justice in the national carrier".

The association has urged the management to adopt a system of rotation and seniority while deploying crew members for VVIP flights so that all employees get a chance to be part of such important assignments.

The management, however, maintains that crew members for VVIP flights are selected according to laid-down criteria and by rotation. "There is no discrimination in the selection," a senior airline official said.


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