11/01/2009

Petroleum, electricity, water supply and harbor sector trade unions to launch work-to-rule action since November 11

(November 01, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Trade unions of Sri Lanka's state-owned petroleum, electricity, water supply and harbor sectors have decided to launch a joint work-to-rule trade union action since November 11. Sri Lanka state has monopoly in these sectors.

The trade unions of the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation launched a work to rule campaign alluding overtime on on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of October paralyzing the fuel supply in the country creating long queues of angry motorists at fuel stations.

Although the Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources A.H.M. Fowzie admitted that the demand of the workers for wage hike was reasonable, he failed even to grant the discussion with the President Mahinda Rajapakse he promised to the striking trade unions.

Ceylon Electricity Board workers also launched a one day token strike earlier but the government ignored granting the pay hike they demanded.

The government says that it has come to a firm decision to delay the pay hikes of the state sector until January next year. However, the government has delayed the budget too until the Presidential and the general election is held making the promised salary hikes uncertain.

However, the government has granted a pay hike to the state bank employees violating its own policy, the trade unions point out.

Water Supply Board and Ports Authority workers are also agitating for wage hikes since several months. The joint trade union action is expected to put severe pressure on the government to solve 


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