Frankly, I'd love to read the basis of this Indian Supreme Court bench decision. On recent Air India flights the best cabin crew in the First Class cabin were some pretty senior air hostesses (definitely on the wrong side of 50). On the other hand, I noticed that the in-flight supervisors (all male) appeared to be closer to 60 than 50.
Was the Bombay High Court decision overturned on technical grounds? Because this decision screams of a blatantly sexist double standard. Anyways, here is the article....
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday set the age of 50 years as the ceiling for on-board duties for any Air-India air-hostess. Enthused by the order, the airline management has already started the process of shortlisting new candidates for crew members.
A bench, comprising Justice B N Agarwal, Justice D Raju and Justice D M Dharmadhikari, passed the order setting aside a Bombay High Court order that had increased the flying age of air-hostesses from 50 to 58 years. The court also set aside the Bombay High Court directive merging the male and female cabin crew cadres.
A-I officials said that new cabin crew members would be hired under the airline's new low-cost airline wing - Air-India Charters Ltd. "All new crew members would be hired as contract workers," the official said.
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3465 times:
Oh please, jay: Female FA's need to be grounded after 28-30 IMO, especially in the upper classes. Why pay top $ and have ugly old hags smile at you with false teeth?
The female FA's are there for the tits and the ass, and that tends to go out of shape with age. So they ought to be grounded.
Male Fa's on the other hand arent there for the tits and the ass. They are there to hammer the Overhead Screens in order to get them to work and other such day to day tasks. They can do that at any age.
Marcopolo747 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 460 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3387 times:
Apart from women's lib defendants reasons, it is so nice to board a plane and find young, motivated, smiling FAs who are thrilled with their jobs and feel proud to be able to take care of passengers as if they were receiving them in the lounge of their homes. Smart, well dressed, well made-up, nice hair-do.
They don't have to be stunningly pretty, just good looking. The Singapore Girl is one of the mainstays for the success of SIA's in flight service. Other airlines with a reputation for good in flight service are seldom staffed by mature women : Cathay, LAN-Chile, Swiss, Thai, Asiana, Malaysia and so on.
One of the reasons for the steep decline of American airlines is the "couldn't care less" attitude of FAs who have been flying for 30 years who think that serving a cup of coffee is dishonour and think they are on board only to check if seat belts are fastened and to open exits in case of an emergency.
Before the crisis, AA had young Latin American FAs on most their flights south of the border and their in flight service was excellent. Now they're gone and were replaced by matrons who make you feel as if each passenger is a nuisance.
It is a fact that with age people feel less and less motivated with their long standing jobs. Maybe these mature FAs could be relocated to other jobs inside the airline structure
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3364 times:
With all due respect, there is a lot more to this issue than shows on the surface. To understand the entire situation and hence the legal reasoning behind the much overdue Supreme Court judgement, we need to take a history lesson.
Air India has always maintained separate cadres for male and female cabin crew. There are separate job descriptions, classifications and seniority lists in each cadre. This has been the case since the days of the Constellations where the Purser and the Hostess had very distinct and different roles to play. However, because of the lower "grounding age" for female crew (initially 30 then 42 then 48 then 50), they were on an accelerated track for promotions, etc.. and correspondingly on higher pay scales.
Hence, we had a situation where a male crew member with 20 years seniority makes say "X" dollars per hour, whereas a female crew member doing the same job with the same 20 years seniority is making "2X" dollars per hour. This was rationalized because females had shorter flying careers so the overall earning potential was being equalized. Additionally, females were eligible for pensions, fulll retirement benefits, etc.. after a shorter career and younger age than males were. Females also enjoyed accelerated promotions into management because of higher turnover of female crew.
For example, a Senior Check Air Hostess currently holds about 12 years seniority. The equivalent grade for the male cadres, Senior Check Flight Purser is currently holding about 23 years seniority. Hence, a 12 year veteran female crewmember is making the same money as a 23 year veteran male crewmember. Inflight Supervisor, a grade not available to female cadre is holding 31 years seniority. Beyond IFS, the cadres merge into management grades.
When females turned 50, they were given the option of working in ground jobs. Many chose to accept these, but many others were very happy to walk away with full retirement packages instead. Males never had this option at age 50. In fact, at age 50, most males still wouldn't have made IFS grade yet, let alone be eligible for management promotions.
The current case that the Supreme Court has ruled on deals with the amalgamation of seniority lists. Basically, the female cadre demands that relative seniority be maintained across lists. Hence, the 20 year veteran FEMALE crewmember at Manager grade should suddenly leapfrog ahead of the 30 year veteran MALE crew member who is still stuck as a purser for bidding purposes. Similarly, they want IFS grade opened up to all female crew above the grade of Senior Check Air Hostess - even though the equivalent seniority of about 15 years would still leave a male crew member at the entry level ASSISTANT PURSER grade. This means that we would have very interesting situations of some senior male crew being SUPERVISED by female crew 20 years junior to them and whom they had actually trained when they joined the airline.
The male crew on the other hand are willing to accept the amalgamation of lists, provided absolute seniority is maintained. Since the absolute seniority of the male cadre is significantly higher than the female, the male crew would immediately get a seniority boost for bidding etc.. That means that the senior air hostesses who currently can grab all the New Yorks they like will suddenly be stuck with 5 day layovers in Trivandrum doing the dreaded Gulf runs while the US runs would be staffed EXCLUSIVELY by male crew.
Neither situation is a good one and hence the best alternative was status quo where at least relative equity was maintained both for earning potential as well as seniority and job functions. This was the case until the High Court mandated that AI permit the over-50 female crew to resume flyign last year. The Supreme Court ruling maintains the pre-appeal status quo by overturning the lower court decision and grounding the handful of females in the 50-58 age group. I welcome the decision.
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3353 times:
"It is a fact that with age people feel less and less motivated with their long standing jobs. Maybe these mature FAs could be relocated to other jobs inside the airline structure"
Even if that were true, there is no evidence that older female crew members are in any way less motivated than male crew members. I've seen more than my share of grumpy obnoxious male cabin crew in my life especially on long intercontinental flights. And plenty of bored, loutish young cabin crew (a trendy British carrier comes to mind).
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3339 times:
That was very interesting. Pity that the Indian newspapers (expectedly) never provide the required details. It is interesting, however, that this situation is allowed to perpetuate, and I'm sure that the cabin crew unions like the status quo as is. Of course, this is all predicated on the assumption that a female cabin crew member at 50 can potentially obtain full equity with her male counterpart who can continue working until 58 (I assume that the bean counters and the lawyers have done the math).
However, one would hope that this absurd dichotomy created because of antiquated hiring laws fifty years ago would be phased out over time.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3331 times:
one would hope that this absurd dichotomy created because of antiquated hiring laws fifty years ago would be phased out over time
At best, it will take one generation to put through. Those currently in the system have to be treated with the rules under which they were hired simply because the only other option is more cases like this one going to the Supreme Court. New hires can be placed into a unisex cadre for earnings and bidding purposes, but as there has been no new hiring for cabin crew in 10 years its again a theoretical possibility at best.
Marcopolo747 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 460 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3314 times:
Someone missed the point : I said PEOPLE feel less and less motivated...Not WOMEN. People includes both genders.
We can't forget that training has to include a culture attitude too. In the case of the "trendy" British airline, possibly this culture is not part of their training. At Aeroflot no FAs I've flown with regardless of age and gender were attentive to passengers simply because it is not part of that airline's culture.
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3285 times:
"Someone missed the point : I said PEOPLE feel less and less motivated...Not WOMEN. People includes both genders."
Oops. Point taken and duly recorded.
In any case, getting back to Air India, how are they planning on structuring their new contractual hiring? Will it be 5 year contracts for FAs? And how does AI prevent new hires from joining crew unions?
Luv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 11957 posts, RR: 51 Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3230 times:
People not being motivated can be said for both new hires and employees with seniority! Tho most likely new hires will be motivated as they are on probation for a time period after first being hired. Airlines and I mean all airlines need to address the issue of motivating and delivering a service product, both in the air and also on the ground.
One problem pointed out and valid I believe is, employees who deliver the minimum at best and also freely give surly service and then hide behind the union for protection if called on the carpet. Also I can see where this action of certain employees bring down the morale of those working together, as there attitude carries over and effects everyone. And from a consumer point of view, the service cuts, no meals anymore, you expect a higher level of service or at least a pleasant level of service when receiving your glass of soda, as the work load per flight for the FA's should now be considerably less, since no meal service is required.
And I believe no one should be forced to retire if they still deliver the job performance you were hired for. The airlines need to do a better job of observing employees job performance both scheduled and random.
Angelairways From United Kingdom, joined Nov 1999, 500 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3211 times:
why not scrap all the complications with the different roles and accelerated pay scale bla bla by making them with equal rights...
as to older flight attendants.. isn't it great to have a lovely old granny serve the tea? i think every flight should have attendants of various ages because the passengers are of all sorts of ages.
the only possible excuse in favour of the supreme court is perhaps medical concerns as people approaching 60 have a weaker heart, so can they deal with the stresses of irate passengers, odd hours etc? and if this was their reason... it is medically proven that men suffer from heart problems at an earlier age than women.. so in no way is the court's decision justified.
Maharaja From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 47 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3011 times:
New hires can be placed into a unisex cadre for earnings and bidding purposes, but as there has been no new hiring for cabin crew in 10 years its again a theoretical possibility at best.
Sean, I think they have 14 such Unisex crew. 10 who joined in 1992/93 and 4 Sports Men and Women who joined later. 9 of them are based in Delhi and as per www.supremcourtonline were also appellants before the Surpeme court.
A synopsis of the 62 page Judgment is on the web at the Supreme court site. Very interesting.
I also think the entire lot of 400 crew taken for AIr India Ltd ( not the 150 for AI Charters LTD ) are unisex cadre.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3002 times:
I believe the 1992-93 hires were actually hired as "male air hostess" rather than as unisex cadre. They were males but with the workrules and duties of the females. I'll check the details when I get back to BOM next week.