The managing director of the Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) has told a Majlis committee that difficulties with local staff have resulted in a dependence on foreign employees, and even military assistance, to keep the airport running.
Bandhu Ibrahim Saleem told the government oversight committee yesterday that over 500 employees were currently on leave, and that 199 had been dismissed, reported Haveeru.
Progressive Party of Maldives MPs had called Saleem to the committee, suggesting that the company had ignored requests for further information regarding the replacement of Maldivian staff with foreigners.
“We loaded and unloaded cargo three times with assistance of army personnel. I don’t think any of you know this. Our employee attendance is low. The process of letting go an employee, so complicated. The foreigners are there to bridge all this,” explained Saleem.
He noted that Maldivians were difficult to recruit, and were often unwilling to carry out the work required.
“Maldives yellowfin tuna export now stand between 20-25 tons per day. These are packed in one ton containers. The youth of today don’t want to load and unload those containers. They will not do it,” he is reported to have told the committee.
“Now when you get older, you can’t do it at 40. Therefore we are forced to bring in people from Nepal,” he said.
The MD said that 3000 passengers and 500 tonnes of cargo were passing through the airport every day.
Additionally, MACL Human Resource Manager Ali Huzeim is reported to have told the committee that foreigners were significantly cheaper and more efficient than local staff.