Supreme Court ruling last week that women crew have equal rights to be appointed flight supervisor or any other position settles the long-drawn battle of male vs female cabin crew
Adam in the air has lost one more battle to the eves.
In a landmark judgement, Supreme Court has held the Air India management policy to bring gender parity in cabin crew has the sanction of the constitutional provisions envisaged in Article 14 and 15.
“In our view, the management of Air India was always entitled to alter its policies with regards to their workmen, subject to the consensus arrived at between the parties in supersession of all previous agreements,” said a bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph. The Court has delivered the important judgment in Air India Cabin Crew Association vs Union of India last week.
Earlier, the women crew especially air hostesses had to fight a long legal battle when the company put rigorous physical conditions such as weight, look and demeanour. Air hostesses were grounded at the age of 50 while male cabin crew continued till 58.
In essence, the judgement upheld Air India’s 2005 decision to abandon its policy of reserving the Inflight Supervisor designation to its male cabin crew. An Inflight Supervisor is the boss-in-charge of all cabin crew on board a flight — i.e. female cabin crew or Air hostesses, as well as male cabin crew, Flight Pursers. Once on board the aircraft, all cabin crew, whether Air hostess or Flight Purser, are under the direct supervision of the Inflight Supervisor.Until 2005, only men were designated by Air India as Inflight Supervisors.
In December 2005, Air India decided to end this blatantly discriminatory practice, announced that Inflight Supervisors will be appointed from among both genders, and designated 10 women Senior Managers.
This decision of Air India was challenged by the male Flight Pursers before the Delhi High Court, claiming that agreements between their union and Air India preserved the position of Inflight Supervisor only for men, and also claiming that the Supreme Court of India had recognized this right. Supreme Court had allowed a status quo.
But dismissing all petitions in this regard, the Apex Court has now held the Air India’s rights to make gender equality and a workman is subjected to the rules of the company, it said. Here, the male bastion on board has ended.