New Delhi: Days after Jet Airways employees’ union wrote to the President and the Prime Minister, seeking their intervention to expedite the process of emergency funds, the National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) has now urged the Prime Minister to ‘direct’ SBI to release at least one month’s salary of all employees.

According to reports, NAG’s email addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi read that salary of at least one month be released for all employees on humane grounds- so that another human tragedy akin of Kingfisher Airlines’ demise can be avoided.

Jet has not paid salaries of a large number of its employees for the last three months, causing huge financial distress to them. The carrier recently suspended its entire operations for want of cash and is unlikely to clear employee dues anytime soon.

Last week, the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP) and Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEWA) had requested help in clearing their outstanding salary dues.

“We request you to consider the situation with the urgency it deserves and direct the management of Jet Airways (India) Ltd to expeditiously disburse all outstanding dues to affected employees.

“We also urge you to expedite the process of emergency funding, as every minute and every decision is very critical in these testing times,” one of the letters said.

Apart from this, the grounded Jet staff is also on the brink of losing its corporate mediclaim.

The group mediclaim provided by the company expires on July 31, 2019. The general insurer Oriental Insurance Company Ltd provides group mediclaim facility to Jet staff.

“We have been informed that the group mediclaim will expire in July. There is no communication over its renewal. This is a big issue for many colleagues who depend on corporate mediclaim,” an employee said.

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT

Hinting that Jet Airways employees are unlikely to receive their salary dues till the stake sale process is completed, Vinay Dube, the CEO of crisis-struck Jet Airways, on Friday told airline employees that the lenders have so far provided no clarity on releasing emergency funds required to meet salary dues.

Dube also told the employees that they are trying to convince the state-run State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium to release some funds for the over 20,000 employees who have not received their dues for months, while the bank-led resolution process for the airline is on. “Unfortunately, the banks have said that they are unable to make any salary commitments. We face this reality despite our best efforts to portray the very real suffering that is being endured by each one of you”, he said in a letter addressed to all employees.

Jet is in the midst of a bidding exercise where investors have been invited to turn around the airline by taking majority control. Private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad Airways are in the race to buy a stake in the grounded Jet Airways.

With input from agencies