The Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) yesterday via a statement set the record straight on a number of issues linked to it’s ongoing “Fly the Roster” campaign while countering what it described as several erroneous and misleading reports published in connection with its campaign.
The ALPGSL which launched the “Fly the Roster” campaign on 4 February after unsuccessful talks with the Chairman and Management of Sri Lankan Airlines to win several demands, said that several media institutions have reported erroneous and false information regarding its campaign.
“One of the main issues that has still not been rectified is an anomaly in the remuneration of newly appointed Captains. These appointments were made on merit, and First Officers promoted to the rank of Captain take full responsibility for the aircraft and its passengers and are accountable for the safety of the flight while under his command.
However, the company is refusing to pay the newly appointed Captains their salaries and paying them the salary of a First Officer while requiring them to perform the duties of a Captain,” the Guild said in a press release.
It added that another issue is linked to remuneration, where contractually the company pays salaries in the rupee equivalent of dollars to pilots, but the Company has violated this.
“Since March 2020, the airline management has illegally and arbitrarily fixed a maximum exchange rate of $ 188.78 for the payment of salaries only, which is unlawful and also not the actual Central Bank published rate, nor is it the Sri Lankan Airlines Finance Department published rate,” the Guild said.
The initial “Fly the Roster” campaign was launched on 21 December 2021 and suspended after a few days’ due to top assurances by the Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines, who communicated to the ALPGSL through the management, that their grievances would be resolved by 31 January.
The Guild said that despite the assurances, none of the issues were resolved satisfactorily after a meeting with the Chairman and the Management of the Airlines by the said date and this led to the recommencement of the second “Fly the Roster” campaign on 4 February.
The ALPGSL encourages any interested party to contact them directly for further information, to avoid misleading information and false media reports.
“When the pandemic was raging in 2020, the pilot fraternity did not hesitate to take the National Carrier to any destination that was required of them, regardless of the threat it posed to themselves and their families, even if it meant they had to remain in isolation in their own homes,” the Guild added.