Like the proverbial father welcoming back a disowned child, Naresh Goyal has 'reinstated' all the employees his airline recently sacked.
Whether he really could not sleep because of his conscience or the battering the airline was taking in the PR department, Nareshji decided to pull the oldest trick in the politician's arsenal. Take a tough measure and then simply 'roll it back'.
Almost like a reality show where we bid farewell to some participants with high drama and copious tears. Only to soon enough say, laut ke aa...!
Nareshji's turnaround solves the immediate problem of young boys and girls in trademark yellow-and-blue taking to the streets to save their jobs. As well as the noises being made by 'action-oriented' parties ranging from the CPI (M) to the MNS.
But what about the larger issue?
In my last post I pointed out that the manner in which employees were dismissed was callous. But I think any management has a right to terminate employees on probation, given that the business has experienced a downturn.
You just do it more discreetly and compassionately. And often you couch it under 'non-performance'. TCS did it, so did Adventity and Hexaware. Brokerage houses are doing it. Other sectors may soon follow.
Are we mentally prepared for this new and turbulent job market? Apparently not.
Congress spokesperson M Veerappa Moily has declared: "This is India, not America... We against hire-and-fire policy of the aviation industry. You cannot have such a policy in a democracy. People's livelihoods are at stake."
Yes, Mr Moily but can we go the American way in hiring and the Indian way in firing? Which is that we cannot retrench at all??
The Jet airways saga shows that we are still to shed our socialist mindset. While the same employees would happily flit from one company to the next when times were good, they cannot accept that they may be without a job when those good times sour.
If employees can have their cake and eat it too, how will industry remain competitive?
On the positive side, other solutions will now have to be found to 'control costs'. Reinstated employees will probably be asked to accept pay cuts. But why just the few who were sacked? If the 'family' - and the aviation industry as a whole - really is in trouble, let every member accept a pay cut.
I see no reason why We, the Passengers, should bear the burden of increased fares. So that airlines can pay Rs 25,000 to 21 year olds. So that they can pay the loans they've taken to study at training institutes.
On how to apply eye make up.
A consultant somewhere will soon be asked to calculate how much an airline can save annually... if it does away with the war paint :)