From the staff at Kingfisher Airlines to the crew at Go First which faces an uncertain future, employees are left in a lurch whenever carriers are hit by crisis, as they keep waiting for salaries. When the pandemic grounded airlines, almost 20,000 jobs were lost in a couple of years, as aviation firms struggled to stay afloat.
SpiceJet, which had also joined the layoff wave and fired hundreds in the pandemic's aftermath, has been ordered by Bombay High Court to renew their contracts.
SpiceJet cites pandemic to justify policy
Around 463 employees of the airline were found not guilty for any misconduct, and hence HC ruled that their contracts which expired in December 2021, must be renewed.
SpiceJet argued in court that since the number of flights was down by 100 to only 44, it didn't have any work for the employees.
Its lawyers also added that the workers were employed on fixed-term contract basis, and so the airline only exercised a choice to not renew contracts, which means they were not terminated.
But the court found that the employees had been working at SpiceJet for several years, and weren't covered by the exclusion clause, as the airline claimed.
SpiceJet still bogged down by crisis
The carrier has also claimed that 120 of the 463 employees had resigned and only 371 can be reinstated.
The court said that those who haven't resigned should inform SpiceJet if they want to continue working, by May 31, 2023.
SpiceJet has been facing a financial crisis due to debt, and has also seen its market share shrink from 10.2 per cent to 6.9 per cent in the January to March quarter.
Apart from the hundreds who await renewal of contracts, SpiceJet had also sent 80 pilots on unpaid leave last year.
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