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Thursday June 20th, 2024

SriLankan Airlines pilots on industrial action over 189 dollar rate, salary cuts

ECONOMYNEXT – Lower dollar exchange rate used to calculate salaries in one of the key concerns raised by SriLankan Airlines pilots who have started a “Fly for Roster” campaign where they will not work on off days demanding quick solutions to their grievances, industry sources said.

The Airline Pilot’s Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) commenced what they call “Fly the Roster” campaign on February 4 which the ALPGSL cited “as a result of grievances not being resolved as assured by the Airline management in December 2021”.

Fly the Roster effectively means that no pilots will be available standby in the event of a duty pilot falls sick or go on a sudden leave.

The current exchange rate is a key issue in the industrial action.

SriLankan pilots are among few people in the country who are protected via dollar salaries from the money printing of the central bank, which leads to depreciation and high domestic inflation.

The central bank has declared the exchange rate to be 200 to the US dollar while injecting liquidity to keep rates down as the economy recovered, leading to forex shortages and parallel exchange rates.

“The pilots are paid less about 189 rupees per dollar which is less than the central bank fixed rate. Also the management has cut down pilot’s salaries during the lockdowns and it has not reversed this decision,” a source familiar with the pilot’s grievances told EconomyNext.

“So pilots’ salaries are reduced by both salary cut as well as paying a lower than market dollar exchange rate. On top of that, they also have cut down a lot allowances.”

Sri Lanka started printing money in 2020 to keep interest rates down in a bid to create a ‘production economy’, but the move has created severe monetary instability and labour unrest is rising.

A similar situation was seen in the 1980s, as money was printed and the currency depreciated creating strikes and social unrest.

“Some of the pertinent issues included contractual violations on the part of the management,” the ALPGSL said in a statement without elaborating the grievances.

Download : Pilots-Guild-Statment

During the Coronavirus pandemic SriLankan pilots took a cut in salary and benefits, along with most other private companies, which they say has not been reversed as indicated.

Industry sources told EconomyNext that a case had been filed in Labour Tribunal over the salary cut and the SriLankan management promised to do reverse from the start of next financial year starting on April 1.

However the management promised to address their grievances by January 31 when they launched a similar campaign in mid December, but it has failed to stick to its promise, according to sources linked to pilots.

The ALPGSL also has demanded to reverse some of the recent changes including probationary period for pilots as their grievances, the sources said.

An official at SriLankan Airlines, responding to EcononyNext’s query on pilot grievances said the company had nothing to do with dollar conversion rate.

“They (pilots) should deal it with the central bank. We have been paying their dues in dollars. It’s true that there is a salary cut and the management has promised to reverse it from the next financial year,” the official said.

“Despite their Fly by Roster campaign, there is no issue with the flights. Most of these pilots earn a monthly salary of more than 1 million rupees.”

Since October 28, the central bank has ordered to convert all dollar inflows into bank accounts of all Sri Lankans creating unhappiness and taking away their ability to protect themselves from monetary expropriation through depreciation.

There have been calls to reform the central bank’s governing law to block the ability of activist central bankers to print money and generate monetary and economic instability. (Colombo/Feb15/2022)

Comments (4)

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  1. MO77 says:

    Foreign workers does not get real rate for their money sending is a big problem. Sri Lankan airline is loss making business which is burden for the country.

  2. David Milli-banda says:

    You buggers have job & are guaranteed a salary. Just shut up get on with your job.
    Demands…. demands…. demands everywhere.

  3. Sagara Perera says:

    Teach them a lesson of their life. HE president do what LKY of Singapore did. Thousands of pilots are begging for jobs worldwide.

  4. Dhammika wijesinghe says:

    How about the other crew members

View all comments (4)

Comments (4)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. MO77 says:

    Foreign workers does not get real rate for their money sending is a big problem. Sri Lankan airline is loss making business which is burden for the country.

  2. David Milli-banda says:

    You buggers have job & are guaranteed a salary. Just shut up get on with your job.
    Demands…. demands…. demands everywhere.

  3. Sagara Perera says:

    Teach them a lesson of their life. HE president do what LKY of Singapore did. Thousands of pilots are begging for jobs worldwide.

  4. Dhammika wijesinghe says:

    How about the other crew members

Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.
(Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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