8 December, 2019

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SriLankan Airlines To Ground Overweight Cabin Crew

Overweight Cabin Crew of SriLankan Airlines is said to be grounded after a medical check up completed by the airline’s appointed Medical Clinic, revealed that their Body Mass Index was over the airline’s permitted standard.

The airline’s management ordered the entire 1300 plus cadre of Cabin Crew to have their body mass index (BMI) measured in February this year. It was then revealed that an alarming number of Cabin Crew who were measured weighed more on the lines of obesity.SriLankan Airlines

Now over 40 Cabin Crew are said to be grounded in this first phase initiated by the airline.

Body Mass Index is made up of the weight against a person’s age, height and gender. The guidelines and measurement used for airlines is usually defined and set in accordance to aviation regulations that recommends an usual Body Mass Index range of 18-25 for men and 18-22 for women to be followed.

Along with the Cabin Crew it was revealed that most of the In Flight Services management and instructors who also fly as checkers on board were found to have had the weighing scales tilted against their favour.

However It is still to be established if the overweight management would now be permitted to take wing on flights in ill fitting uniforms, especially with Manager In Flight Services Rashmore Ferdinands also reported to be seven kilos overweight.

Ever since its inception the national carrier always took great pride in portraying its corporate image to the rest of the world by employing pretty Sri Lankan females to adorn the beautiful peacock mortif uniform saree.

A senior manager of the airline speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not permitted to speak to the media said “The aviation world has now taken note of the health implications that are related to excessive weight and body fat of Cabin Crew members that sometimes borders the lines of obesity. Many have fallen sick and have been out of flying due to long term illnesses. Some with even serious cardiac implications. As the management of the airline we care about our employees and we would wish to create a health conscious culture within our work force. Our intention is to further educate our Cabin Crew on how to maintain a healthy life style especially with the toll their bodies take due to the irregular hours of work and life style patterns they have to follow to do this job. They could lose weight and most certainly resume flying. It is up to them. This is not a punishment in anyway. If they fall sick it also hampers the business operation”.

Commenting on this topic a UK-based rights activist, blogger and comparative politics academic Dr Chaminda Weerawardhana said ” The decision of Sri Lankan Airlines to ground over forty cabin crew, mainly female staff members, on the basis of body weight is extremely controversial, to say the very least. This narrows down to a sexist and a narrowly conceived cultural stereotype – of the lean, smiling and polite sari-clad female flight attendant. It is important to make sure that the rights of these staff members as employees of Sri Lankan airlines are respected, and that an independent (and of course suitably qualified) body (with a substantive gender balance) critically examines the rationale behind the ‘reason’ given to the grounding of so many female staff. Sexism and cultural stereotypes should not form elements of promoting best practice in the national airline, or of promoting the so-called ‘Sri Lankan hospitality’. As a people, we need to collectively wake up to (and tirelessly fight against) prejudices and gender-based discriminatory attitudes that many out there seem to take for granted”.

The grounding of these Cabin Crew comes hot on the heels after six contracted Flight Stewardesses, who had completed their first three years of service, did not have their employment contracts renewed by the airline’s management a few days back. This was as a group of pretentious Flight Attendant Union members led Cabin Manager Adrian Cramer initiated industrial action against the airline.

It is still also unsure though if the airline’s management’s decision in this regard was due to this reason, especially in retaliation towards the Cabin Crew whose ‘work to rule’ industrial strike action is still currently being enforced.

Meanwhile one of the Flight Stewardesses whose employment contract was not renewed speaking to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity as well said ” we are part of over 300 contracted Cabin Crew who are on our first three year contract. It is sad that our dream jobs is being taken away from us for no fault of ours now. Our contracts are not being renewed since the airline is now going to start retrenching Cabin Crew. We were the last to join. So we will be the first to go when these decisions are made. When we contacted Dion Jansz and Elseworth Weerasinghe our seniors in the FAU we were told that there is nothing that they can do and for us to contact the HR Department. When they wanted our signatures they came running to us saying that if we sign, their legitimacy as Executive Committee Members of the FAU could be proved to the management. That was all a hoax just to get us to sign for their selfish reasons. Some of us were even threatened to sign. They were not even elected at the AGM to legally represent us, even though they portrayed it that way to us. They are now reluctant to hold an official ballot which is required by the FAU, if they wish to hold on to power. Perhaps now they know they will lose, thats why they are avoiding an election. We are extremely sad that now there is no one for us in spite of us each paying Rs 1600 as FAU membership fees every month. We were crazy to go against the management. But whats to be done now? We were new, naive and totally misled by a pied piper named Adrian Cramer of the FAU”.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    2

    All state employment recruits are/were examined by state medical officers, usually at the Out Patients Department of the nearest state hospital.
    They need to be pronounced free of physical/mental illness, with perfect vision including colour vision and physical fitness.

    Generally the waist measurement should be half the height to be physically fit.

    If they have gained weight since recruitment, this would be due to overeating, in this case of the special crew’s meals supplied before commencement of each flight.

    It appears that these non-renewals of contract is to keep numbers within limits of cadre requirements, as the airlines are loosing millions daily.

  • 14
    4

    We need our national carrier to have stewards who are on par with the rest of their colleagues in other national carriers. Being overweight projects a bad impression, and as a frequent flyer of Sri Lankan, it has not been pleasant having slow service, and overweight stewards adds to the bad impression of such service, it is as if they are too lazy to care.
    It will also be a a good incentive for the stewards, most of them young, to keep in good health. We were a nation of slim people at one time, maybe fast food is doing a number on our people. Sad.

    • 3
      1

      I agree with what you write, however – look at SQ (Singapore Airlines) and their selling headline – “Singapore Girl”. We all know none of the Singaporean girls work on board SQ – if not all, majority of them are from Malaysia and neighbouring countries. SQ sold passengers on “feminist” slogans. What a world – to be caught to “sex”. As far as UL is concerned – “overweight” should first apply to the male cabin staff – many of whom are pot bellied – miserable looking, disgusting, non English speaking – waste of space breathing slobs. I was on my first Sri Lankan flight on Business Class from CMB to BKK. All the male flight attendants assigned to that cabin were over sized, physically unfit and incompetent morsels who slept away on the vacant business class seats while their female counterparts who were hardly competent in the English language overcame their lack of language skills and wrath of passengers by their sheepish smiles!!! I believe UL was the dumping ground for the poor sexual victims of the previous admin.

      • 1
        0

        I agree that the rules must apply to the male stewards too.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    12

    This is interesting stuff and one will be very interested to see if this action taken by Sri Lankan Airlines management will stand up to a legal challenge! Will UL also consider banning obese passengers from taking flight on their aircraft on similar grounds?

    Poor old [Edited out]…. hope he will change his diet from more rashers of bacon to something much less and lose those excess 7kg of body fat!

    • 9
      2

      Never mind the ‘obese’ passengers, what about banning the well-padded free loaders who fly for ‘free’.

      • 8
        1

        “”Never mind the ‘obese’ passengers,””
        don’t you do internal flights in the USA?
        50% of the Yankees are Obese just like The Brits.
        Do they fly the slim ones as crew or the obese??

        “well-padded free loaders who fly for ‘free’. “”

        the airline has always been rescued for the free loaders and this time over its not different either.
        Ranil could not get US$ 1 billion from China but he agreed to US$ 3.5 billion rescue package and is planning another bond issue for it before the year ends- check wall street.

  • 17
    0

    Of this over sized lot many would have been recruited by uneducated dunce and former chairman Wickremasinghe, the brother in law of deposed King Percy Mahendra(Mahinda) Rajafucksa.

  • 10
    3

    SriLankan Airlines To Ground Overweight Cabin Crew

    “Overweight Cabin Crew of SriLankan Airlines is said to be grounded after a medical check up completed by the airline’s appointed Medical Clinic, revealed that their Body Mass Index was over the airline’s permitted standard”

    “The airline’s management ordered the entire 1300 plus cadre of Cabin Crew to have their body mass index (BMI) measured in February this year. It was then revealed that an alarming number of Cabin Crew who were measured weighed more on the lines of obesity.”

    Why? May be they are overstaffed and od not have enough work. It takes more fuel to keep them in the air as well, and leads to increased losses.

    Why not measure the BMI of Mahinda Rajaksa ans Shirani Rajapaksa?

    Then measure the BMI of All the ministers and MPs.

  • 23
    3

    SL idiots never fails to entertain us. Before grounding cabin crew, idiotic administrators with IQ next to nothing SL should measure their BMI first. All these donkeys (i.e. MPs, Ministeres, CEOs etc) are too fat yet try to control the rest. Most idots do not even have a neck:-) Look at Nimal Siripala, that ass from Galle (Muthhettigama or something like that) just to name two. They have nothing but too big of a belly and a very small head:-) Wake up Sri Lankans…. These are the idiots who make laws for you.

    God bless you Sri Lankans… (because Buddha has been side lined by robe wearing morons and pirith nool wearing retards). What can you say about Banana Republic:-) What a shit hole this country has become:-)

    • 3
      1

      Thepanis

      “SL idiots never fails to entertain us. Before grounding cabin crew, idiotic administrators with IQ next to nothing SL should measure their BMI first. “

      Yes, Yes, Yes.

      They should report the BMI and IQ of the administrators First.

      Then, then can start with the Politicians.

  • 16
    1

    This is a very good move to keep their staff healthy one side and reduce fuel cost as far as airline concerns

    This kind of mechanism should be implemented all other state offices so people at least try to maintain their health and do proper exercise which for sure reduce health cost of the country

  • 1
    15

    Batalanada Ranil has already started culling the Dalits.

    It is only our Village chicks who have a little fat layer between the blouse and the lungi.

    Other than that I have never seen fat women serving drinks when I was flying on Srilankan.

    But is is not their fault, Poor things had to have three meals of rice because of the circumstances, unlike the Colombo chicks who even started workouts, after our Dalit prez gave everything to them even when the war was on.

    I hear the new Chairperson and the Board were hand picked by Batalanda Ranil with his cousin put in charge.

    Now I know why they picked a fight with the new Union members.

    They are the Village lassies who got in, thanks to the non discriminatory policies of the previous Regime.

    I don’t think I will fly Srilankan. if they go ahead with it..

    • 17
      1

      Hi Sumana,
      I am dead sure you would even find Shirani suitable for the job. you bugger has a unfalted love for everything what MR & clan did. Yes the “non discriminatory policies of the previous Regime” awarded a stewardess a deplomatic post in Australia and you think it was for the privilaged services she delivered to the MR-princes. Wake up and pull your pants up my dear.

      • 0
        8

        Hi Sanchay,

        You must be good at it…right . i mean putting the pants down..

        Are you jealous of the chick who got the gig in Australia?./

        At least she must be good looking and speak English, unlike some of the Dodos I have come across in our Foreign Consulates.

        What is wrong with Shirani.. She is all class from top to bottom and doesn’t pretend to be Elite, unlike you try hards, who are now on rampage.under Bodhi Sira’s Yahapalanaya.

        Ask your Yahapalana Rajitha’s mongrel son to show you some, which he has in his possession.

        • 4
          0

          Hi Sumana, you mean looking good enough and being able to speak english would have been enough to become a diplomatic staff? of course Mrs. Boruwansa also had a diplomatic pass to go shopping with public funds. By the way what happened to the alcoholic brother-in-low of MR? he was having lots of Booze, sex, fun and loot in the “non discriminatory policies of the previous Regime” Of course everything happened under your master was legally correct isnt it. wake up my dear.

  • 7
    2

    This BMI issue was on the books few years before and head of hr was scared take action thinking there will be strikes and he will lose his pleasure opportunities. However since Sunil pieris is a man with a backbone and no hanky panky- it’s appreciated this airline taking strict decisions such like this. However just wondering how the manager planning and analytics and the head of hr saga going on… Heard that they are strong as ever. When Sunil pieris is there is handle hr why another head of hr? Cut that cost out first… Must be paying about 5 lakhs per month plus luxury car given by former chairman on hhrs desire and other hidden perks he earn from his craze to travel overseas justifying with big words as if those journeys are official!

    Start from here… An important cost for the airline… The country’s people money…

    • 0
      0

      Who is sunil pieris?

    • 0
      0

      Who is Sunil Pieris and what is he at Sri Lankan?

  • 1
    0

    LOL …. Good morning Sri Lanka.

  • 16
    0

    Oh dear me!! Half the cabin crew may have to be grounded.!!

    Before grounding the overweight cabin crew, you may have to cancel the agreement signed with Flight Attendants Union by Nishantha ( planter chairman) which gave them unsustainable benefits which results in some cabin crew earning Rs 500,000 per month with allowances from a dead loss airline.

    Interestingly some cabin crew actually earn more than junior cock put crew.!!!

    • 2
      6

      Fool, those who are earning 500,000 have been working there for a donkey 30 odd years. And the same time
      They proved themselves the best and the friendliest cabin crew in the world. Their experience , and maturity will save all your lives in mid air calamity . 500,000 insufficient in comparison with the Emirates new recruite who earns almost 700,000. Copilot school leavers , should cool their heels and wait to earn what they due.

  • 15
    0

    A stewerd or stewardess cannot be overweight and airlines around the world have a maximum weight/height ratio for its flying staff.

    At Srilankan it is very unsightly to see obese stewerds/stewerdesses and happy that the airline is addressing this issue.

    No more flying buth gullas !

  • 8
    0

    Of course it has nothing to do with the problems their union action.

  • 7
    0

    Great. This is a good decision. The overall quality of flight crew have gone down very very badly. Even some of them cannot converse well in English. Also service levels are very low. I returned yesterday on a flight from Maldives. Before taking off, I asked a stewardess a glass of water.Nothing happended. Then again after the initial service, I asked the same girl a glass of water. She did not apologize for not bringing a glass in the first instance but never brought the glass of water. Now I am back at home and still waiting for the glass of water!!!! What damn service.

  • 9
    0

    Sri Lankan Airlines started going down the drain since Mara started meddling into its operations. Just like everything else that Mara and his cronies meddled into and messed up.

    The time has come to see if Sri Lankan Airlines can be saved. But this BMI gimmick alone will take us nowhere unless all necessary changes are enforced quickly.

    For starters a fight attendant’s attitude is far more crucial than their looks. Most Sri Lankan Airlines cabin crew have not been groomed enough to be worthy of being waiters let alone air hostesses. They think that they are doing you a favour. It’s an attitude that goes all the way to the top. The effects of politicians meddling into the airline!

    Weight is not a factor that has much impact, our flights are mostly empty anyway. If they were full Sri Lankan would be making profit anyway.

    If the government really wants change things, then they must prioritize what is most critical to the next most critical and so on, and enforce the changes.

    If you ask me, re-evaluating the staff strength and optimizing accordingly would be a stating point. This has to be done generally, not just with Cabin crew.

    Retain people who are good in their job and bring about a positive impact on the airline. Send home the rest, irrespective of their political connections, ethnicity, cast or creed.

    People who use influence or political power are free loaders anyway. Get rid of them, make Sri Lankan a professional efficient outfit again.

  • 2
    2

    Stewardesses HAVE to look pretty for men to feast their eyes on in this sexist world.

    Welcome to our western culture.

  • 3
    1

    we have no alternative but to bring in the former chairman and give them some exercise by going up and down on him.

  • 2
    0

    Surely must kick out overweight MPs as well. All useless free loaders

  • 2
    9

    Playing devils advocate here;

    In fairness to the cabin crew; they are forced to eat processed food when operating a flight and during rest in overseas stations. They have no opportunity to make food from scratch unless they are at home or carry a home made ” rice packet “. They pay heavily in terms of weight gain through unhealthy eating habits incurred in the process of working. Some of our cabin crew have tried eating healthy, cooking food in their rooms only to find the fire alarm going off and the Hotel Gently telling them not to do so, followed by a call to Station Manager on ground.

    It is easy to use BMI to whack someone above normal indicators, while the organization you work for unconsciously create a work environment which doesn’t allow for healthy eating.

    On a different note, can we apply the same measurements to our Armed Forces and Police ? Many carry a paunch and wonder how they can perform efficiently in their tasks. Perhaps that’s why our crime rate is high.

    Cheers.

    • 4
      0

      vishvajith

      It is the quantity of food consumed and not how it is prepared, which matters. Quality – less fat and carbohydrate plus supplementary iron and vitamins.
      They need to weigh themselves monthly and exercise at home daily, to keep their health and fitness.
      Most women abroad do this.

      • 0
        0

        Thanks for your response.

        Out of point perhaps, the food industry has assured that the food we eat are over caloried and over sugared. They have framed the overweight issue as an exercise issue, passing the buck on the consumer.
        They say, we have food labeling and you are eating, what can we do, they ask.
        Look at the labeling in ketchup, 1tsp has 1tsp of sugar.
        Take any juice box, it has a minimum of 4tsp of sugar.
        It is an impossible task, especially when you are eating out, as our cabin crew does when they are out of their home base, to watch what you eat.
        It is a no-win situation.

        It will be interesting to see if any crew member takes the carrier to courts in this regard.

  • 7
    0

    Visvajith,You make a good point but the thing is how do hostesses in other airlines manage to stay trim and fit under identical conditions.It all boils down to the lack of best practices at Srilankan.How can we have such practices when right through its history kissing has gone by favor both metorphorically and practically!Politics has been the name of the game.

    It’s high time the government took a decision to either close Srilankan or to revamp it by hireing a foreign CEO and giving him a free hand.Loss making Malaysian Airlines hired a German and within a year it is beginning to make a profit.

    • 1
      0

      Thank you for responding. You make a valid point. We can learn from the best practices of our peers.

      Some carriers have fixed term employment for cabin crew. Especially Asian Carriers. After which they are rotated to ground jobs or if they wish, leave.This is their way of keeping the crew fresh and trim.

      Thanks again.

  • 6
    0

    Over 1300 cabin crew!!! I wonder why the national carrier make such big losses. What is our fleet strength? What are the international standards crew/flight ratio?
    Most of these must be political appointments. We Sri Lankans can not do a simple thing right!

    I am sure this move also must be politically motvated!

  • 3
    0

    The government is going to bring Indian hostesses to work at Sri Lankan after signing the new deal.

  • 0
    5

    The management should start it’s checking from the top management. It is unfair to penalise the crew and other staff. Seems like the chairman I’d on a witch hunt

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