Saturday, April 1, 2023

‘Air India’s Social-Media Policy Violates Fundamental Right’: Pilots to Chairman

The union further stated that the policy, unlike social media policies adopted by several other employers, does not even attempt to draw a distinction between the content posted during working hours or from the workplace and that posted after working hours or outside of the workplace.

The pilots of Air India, represented by the Air India-Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) have communicated to the chairman of Air India, that the ban imposed on the use of social media and the policy introduced by the airline for the same is in violation of fundamental rights, and therefore, illegal.

The pilots argue that the policy prohibits employees — current as well as those who have retired from Air India — from using social or digital media, which is totally against the law. That means current or former employees cannot post any content on social media or forums, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

In the letter to Rajiv Bansal, chairman and MD, Air India, the pilots have rightly pointed out that no such law exists in the country that allows such a policy or prohibition to come into force. By disallowing the use of social media to the employees, Air India is actually depriving them of their right to freedom and speech, which the Constitution guarantees to the citizens of the country.

Also, the policy does not even distinguish between the kind or nature of content that can be posted during work hours and after duty hours on the employees’ personal time.