Customs officers on duty at the head office and air cargo department staged a walk out protest yesterday in response to claims that the Director was reappointed despite being over the retirement age. The officers demanded an immediate reversal to this appointment. Sri Lanka Customs Union claims that the employee, who was previously the Director Information Technology, has now been appointed as of IT - a post which they claim is outside known classification, rules and regulations.
“A Director for the department of IT has already been appointed. This post has been newly created just to accommodate this person. There are capable people to do the job and there is no need for this post,” Customs Superintendents Union President Vipula Minuwanpitiya claimed.
However, Customs officers on duty at the Bandaranaike International Airport did not take part in the strike, Director of Airport Customs Parakrama Basnayaka told the Daily FT.
“This strike is going to continue if they do not reverse the decision to create a new position for this person who should be on pension,” said Customs officers.
“The protest is likely to continue until our demand is met. It can spread to all departments and branches of Sri Lanka Customs, including the airport, which could cost the country billions in revenue.”