Abans Environmental Service had written to the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) on 4 May, requesting that their 16 janitors be paid Rs 10,000 separately for the work they have been doing that is not within their mandate.
Currently, they are only paid Rs 25,000 per month, which is insufficient given the high cost of living. The janitorial staff has complained to their head office, but the CAASL has yet to implement a pay increase, the workers claim.
They have been performing other errands in addition to janitorial work such as gardening, moving office furniture and supporting special events held at the CAASL.
Since 2018, CAASL has consistently hired janitors through a procurement process. The 16 janitors also include a supervisor at the head office in Katunayake, two employees in Batticaloa and three in Mattala.
The current economic downturn in Sri Lanka is explained in the letter from Abans to the chairman of CAASL. “The company struggles to hire employees at a competitive rate and the employees have voiced their concerns about the cost of living, which is necessary for them to be taken into consideration for a wage increase. The Authority’s employees perform a certain amount of work each day that is not specifically covered by the janitorial work agreement,” the letter pointed out.
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan