ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 2, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 40

SriLankan employees seek fresh talks

By Madhushala Senaratne

The Flight Attendants Union (FAU) of SriLankan Airlines will hold further talks with the management to get a competitive salary in keeping with other airlines, a spokesman said. The FAU withdrew its notice of industrial action after the Emirates, which manages the airlines, last week agreed to raise salaries by 20% in terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

But union officials said the although the CBA which came into effect in June last year, would expire in May this year and therefore, they would like to discuss a better system of pay and the terms. The FAU dropped its trade union action plan after SriLankan Airlines chairman Harry Jayawardena intervened to settle the dispute.

“Mr. Jayawardena understood our situation. He made way for meetings and gave us a chance to discuss our issues,” he said adding fresh discussions with the management would begin next week.Deputy Aviation Minister Sarath Gunaratne said the problem was aggravated with the cabin crew raising issues relating to insufficient income due to closure of some destinations.

“I intervened in the matter by paving the way for meetings and discussions between the relevant parties and helping them to arrive at an agreement which would be acceptable to all,” Mr. Gunaratne said. A SriLankan airlines spokesperson said the recent CBA signed was a routine procedure. The CBA was renewed regularly and this year too it was successfully negotiated, the spokesperson said.

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