Pilot Jettisons Crew!

Jet Airways has landed with a big thud!

Jet Airways sacked about 1000 employees suddenly! This made ‘big splash news’ yesterday. The laid off employees [some of them are ‘retrenched’] gathered at the office of Raj Thackeray, an upcoming young leader who is trying to establish in politics. Raj announced that no Jet will fly unless the employees are reinstated. Other political parties and their unions also jumped in the fray. There were all indications of a big battle about to happen.

Naresh Goyal, the Chairman of Jet Airways disappointed us. He announced within twenty-four hours that he was going to take back all! He said that his management decided to lay off the crew, he was not aware of it! He said further that he was mentally disturbed with the events and could not sleep at all. He denied that he acted under any political pressure. Goyal’s response of understanding the pain of air-hostesses who are of the same age as his daughter is childish to say the least, if not ridiculous.

Retrenchment and Lay off without Government permission is illegal in India, so the action was bad in law anyway. But who will believe that he did not yield to the threat held out by Raj Thackeray?

These scars will take a long time to heal. Communicating with employees constantly is essential. If a difficult situation is developing, they should be warned about the shape of things to come. Catching employees by surprise is the recipe for disaster. In a capital intensive industry the owners ought to display greater skill in handling situations.

In this drama Raj Thackeray has emerged as a hero! Naresh Goyal first alienated the employees. His ‘about turn’ has alienated his managers. Have you ever heard of a pilot jettisoning the crew?