AIESL makes dad work without pay while baby needs urgent treatment
» Father, Anand Waghmare, resumes work only so that he can pay for his daughter’s life-saving treatment, but company does not pay salary, claiming he owes them money
WHISTLE-blower Anand Waghmare, 42, and his family continue to pay for his efforts to expose corruption in the company he works, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL). After arm-twisting him to move from Mumbai to Nagpur, discontinuing treatment for his critically ill baby, now it turns out the company has been making him work for free. For the past two months, AIESL has not paid salary to Anand, claiming instead that he owes them R4.5 lakh.
mid-day has been reporting on the plight of Anand and his sevenmonth-old daughter Eliza’s plight since October 2018, highlighting how the company abruptly transferred him from Mumbai to Nagpur and refused to let him be with his wife and child after a complicated delivery. When he returned to Mumbai for his loved ones’ treatment, the company stopped paying him salary. His employers showed no compassion even after baby Eliza was diagnosed with life-threatening hydrocephalus (fluid build-up in the brain). Instead, they put Anand under inquiry for going to Mumbai to be with his family.
After nearly a year without salary, Anand moved his family back to Nagpur, so that he could resume work from December 17, 2018. This meant that Eliza’s ongoing treatment at Cooper Hospital has to be stopped. In Nagpur now, Anand and his wife Jayanti have been forced to drain the excess fluid from their daughter’s brain themselves, because they have been unable to find a neurosurgeon able to do it.
No salary again
After making all these sacrifices, he has not even been paid. On Friday, for the second month since he returned to work, he received a payslip with negative balance of R2,667 (an amount that the company claims Anand owes them). In the first month’s salary slip, AIESL had claimed he owed the company R4.5 lakh.
Anand said, “I don’t understand how my salary slip shows negative balance, as I have never taken any advance, nor was I paid any salary since April 2018. [At this rate] how can I continue treatment for my sick baby?”
Even the calculations on AIESL’s end are strange, as the purported dues somehow went from R4.5 lakh to less R3,000
In his latest email, Anand wrote, “I haven’t received my salary since April 2018, and only got salary slips on my email. As per the salary slips, I have been paid salary all those months, but where is the money?”
Meanwhile, says Anand, AIESL continues to mount pressure on him to withdraw all allegations against the company. Advocate Rajeshwar Panchal, who is representing Anand in the Bombay High Court, said, “This is a clear case of double standards. On one hand, the counsel for the management is keen for a settlement, and on the other, the management continues to harass the petitioner mentally and emotionally, by not giving him work and not paying salary, especially at a time when he is in dire need of funds to provide basic medical treatment to his ailing daughter.”
The other side
A senior management official from AIESL said, “We have directed the personnel department and our counsel to do the needful subject to Anand withdrawing his complaints/allegation. However, I will have to revert on this specific details about salary not being paid.”
Anand has already expressed his disagreement to any settlement.
Baby Eliza’s head continues to swell upon discontinuing her treatment in Mumbai