Vol. 5 Num 1137 Fri. August 10, 2007  
Front Page

More job cut in Biman

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd, the newly formed public limited company (PLC), has taken an initiative to downsize its manpower further by 500 employees.

However, the initiative was taken without its board of directors' consent, as the meeting of the board of directors is yet to be held.

Under a fresh voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), Biman plans to trim its staffs to 2,400 from the existing 2,900, civil aviation and tourism ministry sources said.

"Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd sought about Tk 125 crore from the finance ministry to meet the necessary expenses in this regard," sources said.

"We have got a letter from Dr MA Momen [Biman's chief executive officer and managing director] proposing further downsizing its manpower," Acting Secretary to the civil aviation and tourism ministry Sheikh Altaf Ali told The Daily Star yesterday at his office.

MA Momen said, "Biman will face no problems if some more Biman staffs went for voluntary retirement. The VRS would do them good." He said the VRS is dependent on the availability of funds from the finance ministry.

"Biman's newly formed board of directors is yet to sit for a meeting," the civil aviation secretary said, adding, "Recommendations of the board of directors is needed to downsize Biman's staff."

However, an official in Biman said, "We have to see when the letter was sent to the ministry [before or after Biman became a PLC]. If a director of Biman disagrees with the initiative, he can raise objections in the board meeting."

"He [civil aviation secretary, a board member] has options, he could agree or disagree with the Biman's initiative during the meeting of the board of directors," the Biman official told The Daily Star last night wishing anonymity.

On June 5, Biman offered the VRS in order to trim its staff to 3,400 from 4,800. It finally accepted 1,877 applications for voluntary retirement. The scheme was part of the government's plan to turn the national flag carrier into a PLC and a healthy and profitable commercial venture.