The Financial Express

Pilots suspend protest after Biman gives assurances

| Updated: October 26, 2021 23:04:50

File photo used for representation purpose (Collected) File photo used for representation purpose (Collected)

Pilots at Biman have suspended their protest over pay cuts after the national carrier’s administration made assurances.

The pilots for the state-run airline had decided not to work beyond the terms of their contracts from Monday as part of the protest, reports bdnews24.com.

Mahbubur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Airlines Pilot Association (BAPA), said the protest was suspended following a meeting with the Biman administration on Tuesday afternoon.

“We discussed the matter with the Biman managing director and other directors,” he said. “They announced that they had agreed to the pilots’ demands. They gave assurances regarding the adjustment of the pilots’ wages.”

The Biman administration also gave assurances that the demands would be raised at a meeting of the Biman Board of Directors on Saturday.

“The pilots expressed their hope that the appropriate steps will be taken to make adjust the wages after evaluating our demands. After receiving these assurances, the pilots suspended their protest,” Mahbubur said.

At least two Biman flights did not leave on time due to the pilots’ protest.

“One or two flights may have been delayed on Monday,” Mahbubur said. “But nothing like that will happen today. Everyone is back to their regular work.”

Biman had announced the pay cuts for all employees one and a half years ago at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The salaries for other positions at the national carrier were restored, but the decision did not cover pilots.

BAPA’s Executive Board met in July and demanded the Biman administration change this decision and threatened to strike if pilots’ salaries weren’t restored by Jul 30.

The Biman administration gave their assurances and the pilots withdrew their protest. But they decided to suspend all work outside the bounds of the contract after these assurances were not implemented.

National flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines currently employs 157 pilots.

Pilots say they are supposed to fly 75 hours and have eight holidays a month in line with the contract between Biman and BAPA.

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