Several trade unions in the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) are planning to go to the Human Rights Commission against what they described as a discriminative order by the Airport and Aviation Authority (AAA) banning ordinary workers from using their mobile phones within the Airport premises.
BIA authorities implemented the new rule claiming that the customs have found that many smuggling rackets and other frauds have been carried out with the support of the BIA employees.
But the unions strongly denied the allegation and said that it was baseless because the ordinary airport workers have no access to facilitate such rackets.
A union representative said the ban was totally discriminative and violated human rights because it was imposed on ordinary workers leaving out the executives such as duty managers and superintendents.
He said the rule had been aimed at the minor employees while cross sections of the staff at the airport are permitted to use their phones without restriction such as the Customs, Police, Immigration and Emigration workers, staff at duty free shops and even cab drivers.
The passengers are also being allowed to use phones at BIA.
The source said that since the AAA staff have to work 24-hour shifts, the mobile phone had become essential for them to keep in touch with their families. Depriving them such access is an inhumane act, he said.