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Srilankan Airlines’ pilots on Thursday launched a campaign against the way they are being subjected to breathalyser tests, saying they will not strike but stay away from overtime work to register their protests. Kicking off the ‘work to rule’ campaign, the pilots of the country’s flag carrier Srilankan Airlines said they would stay away from overtime work and would not be available on off days.
This is not a strike action but a ‘work to rule’ until pilots’ demands are met, Captain Renuka Senanayake, spokesman for the pilots’ guild said.
“We will be doing work strictly according to our roster. We are not against breathalyser tests but proper procedure must be followed,” Senanayake said. They are at loggerheads with the management over the breathalyser tests procedure on the flight crew.
Last month, a pilot was dismissed and his license was suspended by the civil aviation authorities after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol prior to a flight from Frankfurt to Colombo. It was reported that another pilot who was asked to undergo a breathalyser test at the Colombo airport had protested over the procedure.
The Srilankan Airlines management said refusal to cooperate with breathalyser tests was a violation of civil aviation regulations. SriLankan Airlines operates flights to many Indian cities including Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and Kochi.