Jet Airways has let go of hundreds of employees, a day after tying up with Kingfisher Airlines, in the first, visible manifestation of the global economic crisis hitting home.
Union civil aviation minister Praful Patel says it is an internal company matter of human resources and the government has no role to play. The Jet management avers that these job losses are imperative to save the jobs of others and to see the company through this downturn.
Meanwhile, the politicians have jumped in. Petroleum minister and Bombay Congress strongman Murli Deora has slammed the job cuts, and Raj Thackeray of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has threatened to ground Jet in Bombay. The left parties, usually very vociferous, have remained silent.
Are such abrupt job cuts a sign of the times, or a shape of things to come? Or, are the airline owners using the “aviation crisis” to balance their books to enhance “shareholder value”? Is it right or wrong to drop the young employees like hot potatoes at the first sign of trouble?