COVID-19 Related Abuses at Sri Lankan Airlines..!

By Concerned Sri Lankan Airlines Cabin Crew Members.

(Lanka-e-News -26.Aug.2021, 4.15AM) This is to disclose and bring COVID-19 related abuses at Sri Lankan Airlines in to attention so that a responsible party made available to this information could take corrective action on behalf of those affected, being the crew and passengers. The same information that is regurgitated here has been brought to attention of relevant officials within Sri Lankan Airlines and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, only to result in inaction.

Since the start of the pandemic mid 2020, Sri Lankan Airlines crew has been the frontline workforce going up against the risks of COVID-19 without regard for their own safety and well being. During the said time period, there were many flights that were operated and countless sacrifices were made on behalf of the airline. Operating repatriation flights to supporting the new cargo initiative brought up by Sri Lankan Airlines management were one of the few examples. As time went on, the management at Sri Lankan Airlines seeing the corporative nature of the crew decided to compromise on the quarantine procedures and cut corners so that they can operate more flights despite the given situation. To let you know how serious the situation is, there is proof out in the public that the crew was put to operate flights whilst being infected with the virus. It is obvious that this is a problem on the international scale as it is no longer a matter localised to the company or the country it operates out of, but it is a concern of every country that the airline operates to. Records right now report 170+ cabin crew (majority of whom were inoculated) and reported few deaths as well.

One of the first casualties of the management wanting to operate more flights was the strict quarantining procedure that was being followed. At this moment, the quarantine procedure has taken a substantial cut down, thus making the crew more available for flights and more vulnerable to the virus themselves, as well as to spread it. It used to be that the crew would quarantine at home for 7 days but now it has been taken down to being acceptable to operate flights right after having a negative PCR result on arrival. The profit driven unethical actions carried out with no regard for public safety and cabin crew has been appalling to say the least.

Furthermore, the inflight services that were on hold due to COVID-19 spread, is now resumed to offer full service as if COVID-19 is no longer in the picture. Everything from handing out and collecting back blankets, headphones, duty free sales, serving of alcoholic beverages, handing out reusable cutlery in flight is now a part of service. The aforementioned service has significantly increased the exposure the cabin crew has to face as well as increased in flight spread amongst passengers. Not to mention the practical issues that arise with this is even more difficult to manage, passengers who are under the influence of alcohol tend to gather around in long queues near lavatories without any regard for COVID-19 social distancing protocols and also some can be unruly and as a direct consequence it is the responsibility of the cabin crew to contain them. Which again negatively affect the crew given the current situation. As one could imagine the cabin crew of Sri Lankan Airlines is concerned about their health, their lives and their families. At the end of the day they are the frontline workers against this and not the management that takes these blatant and reckless decisions to drive their agenda’s at the expense of employees.

Amidst all this, cabin crew has been compliant and has been hardworking putting their lives and their families lives at risk, for work. The appreciation from the airline for which there was none, what they got in return is an occasional sugar coated email from the management that offer no real solution to personal, financial and work related issues brought about by their poor decision making.  To further drive the point home, the airline imposed substantial pay cuts that compounded on top of complete abolishment of allowances (onboard meal allowance) in ways that the crew in some instances have to pay out of their own salaries to afford meals while overseas. Also the right to utilize leave of the crew has also been taken away from them in an inhumane way, where if they take leave for being sick or even out of pure need, their salaries would get further cut down from the little that they do get after factoring in the pay cut and allowance cut imposed in the first place. The management has gone to great lengths to make sure that they use the prevailing COVID-19 situation to bring about change and justify them using COVID-19 as the excuse for everything that is not in their favour.

Our only hope by reaching out to you is that, you are made aware of the malpractices and that you stand a chance to make change. As previously stated relevant authorities/officials have mismanaged the situation at Sri Lankan Airlines and do not care about those affected. We appreciate your time and hope you can take action to cause change for the better.

(Documents highlighting important points discussed here is attached for your reference.)

By Concerned Sri Lankan Airlines Cabin Crew Members.

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by     (2021-08-25 22:55:03)

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