Crash landed aviation sector

Gloom and doom surrounds the economy. Aviation sector is not an exception. In the first sign of nervousness, Jet Airways issued pink slips to its 1900 employees. Without any prior notice, Jet had taken this shocking decision. Cabin crew in fresh and clean attire waiting for company vehicle to pickup was devastated. Did anyone apart from the sacked workers thought about the consequences in their lives? What the sudden layoff means to thousands of young recruits? Their dreams crash landed and shows no sign of first aid. Nothing can be crueler than this kind of ill-treatment to the young employees. Of course they are taught dirty tricks which will dent the industry in the long run.


It is understandable that the airline industry is facing severe financial crisis. Increasing oil prices and decreasing passengers are pressurizing the industry to go for dire measures. In a scenario like this a company should marshal all its resources and act maturely. The common question asked is “will the belt tightening is only for employees or for the employer also?” From the initial investigations it is clear that the employers have not scaled down their lavish lifestyles. For a saving of Rs.5 crore a month Jet Airways has shown the door to 1900 employees. Is that Rs.5 crore bigger than 1900 young people’s lives?


One wonders whether Vijay Mallya, the flamboyant figure of the aviation sector is going to reduce his partying or the intake in the number of scotch peks? His emphasize on cost cutting to make his company “mean, lean and efficient” sounds ironical. It is high time that he and his peers graduate to a higher level of corporate leadership and become compassionate capitalists.


Capitalism can never shed its cruel nature. When it comes to counting currencies and profit it can be ruthless. Compassion and employee welfare is not even remotely found. In desperate situations only corporate leadership is tested. In this time of crisis, few pass and most of them fail to withstand. Naresh Goyal and Vijay Malayas are not an exception. They have proved that alternative thinking and solution finding to the mega crisis is not their style. When they fail to speak to their employees about the situation and take hasty decision which impacts the lives of thousands of workers, danger script for the industry is written.


In such a sad situation the corporate leaders should have called for a meeting of employees and explained to them about the crisis. An open heart session could have conditioned the young employees and might have contributed for the mutual understanding. All of a sudden issuing pink slips to thousands of employees is wrong western model of corporate governance. Citing the probation time for no notice sacking is ridiculous and inhuman. The clause for no notice termination is to make the learning a disciplined process not to use it for employer’s fancy.


Failure of the aviation czars to lead the workforce at the crisis will push the employees to seek the guidance of vested political interests. No wonder they first went to Raj Thackeray. Now the aviation corporate honchos will have to face the heat. Even a course correction at this hour can redeem their prestige and put them back on the right sky.


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