To anticipate pilots strike Garuda Indonesia will temporarily hire Merpati pilots
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 07:00
JAKARTA - Pilots under the Garuda Indonesia Pilots Association have threatened to strike if the company fails to solve the discrepancy between the salaries of local and foreign pilots.
The pilots argue that the imbalance was because the value mentioned in the contracts of foreign pilots followed international standards while those for local pilots were not adjusted to these standards.
Â Garuda Indonesia has denied giving preferential treatment to foreign pilots as claimed by local pilots, who believe they earn less than their foreign counterparts.
Garudaâ€™s vice president for corporate communication, Pudjobroto, said Tuesday that its pilotsâ€™ salaries were based on regional market prices.
â€śWe have researched other companies like Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways to set the benchmark [for their salaries],â€ť said Pudjobroto.
â€śIn any profession and industry, terms and conditions between permanent and contract employees are different. Some Garuda pilots, who used to work for foreign airways, also get higher salaries than other local pilots, because they work on a contract basis usually over a short term,â€ť Pudjobroto said.
Besides monthly salaries, he continued, the national airline company also pays its permanent employees' insurance, longevity fee and pensions.
Â A high official suggests the flag carrier Garuda Indonesia should temporarily hire Merpati pilots to anticipate the massive strike planned by Garuda pilots on July 28.
â€śGaruda is currently hiring seven out of 15 Merpati pilots; there are still seven or eight more that could be hired,â€ť Minister of State Enterprises, Mustafa, said on Tuesday.
Garuda aims to increase the size of its fleet to 154 airplanes from its current 80 aircraft ahead of the commencement of the ASEAN Open Sky 2015 policy.
The flag carrier is now locked in a dispute with its national pilots, who are protesting against the management over receiving lower salaries compared to their foreign counterparts.
Commenting on the conflict, Mustafa said he expected they could settle the problem soon (The Jakarta Post)