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IndiGo has started disciplinary proceedings against the aircraft maintenance technicians who went on mass sick leave during the last five days to protest against low salaries, sources said on Tuesday. The airline has asked the technicians concerned to report to the airline’s doctor, along with necessary medical documents, so that the carrier can verify if they were actually sick, sources mentioned.

In an email sent to one such technician who took sick leave on July 10, IndiGo said that such an absence without any prior notice impacts the operations of the airline. “Therefore…you are directed to meet our company doctors immediately along with necessary medical documents to substantiate your medical condition,” it mentioned.

The airline did not respond to PTI’s request for a statement on the matter. The email said that since the airline has not been able to get in touch with the technician, he should urgently take an appointment with the company doctor.

In case he does not take the appointment, the airline will conclude that he is “voluntarily staying away from work and treat it appropriately”. During the last five days, a sizeable number of the airline’s aircraft maintenance technicians went on sick leave to protest against their low salaries.

However, IndiGo had on Monday said it will “rationalise” the salaries of its aircraft maintenance technicians and remove “anomalies caused by the pandemic”, according to internal communication. On July 2, around 55 per cent of IndiGo’s domestic flights were delayed as a significant number of its cabin crew members took sick leave, with sources saying they ostensibly went for an Air India recruitment drive.

IndiGo had slashed the salaries of a large section of its employees when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak. New airline Akasa Air, revamped Jet Airways and Tata group-owned Air India have started hiring processes and this has created a churn in the aviation industry, with many employees looking for greener pastures.

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