Now, JVP threatens to cripple water and power supplies

Close on the heels of petroleum workers disrupting supplies to pressure the government to meet their demand for a salary hike, trade unions affiliated to the JVP yesterday threatened to cripple the power sector and water supply.

Unions insist that collective agreements between them and the government should be finalized immediately.

A spokesman for the CEB union told The Island that they had received increments once in three years and the last pay hike was way back in January, 2006. General Secretary of the United Trade Union Front of the CEB, Ranjan Jayalal said that they would launch a major protest campaign on Wednesday (October 28) opposite the CEB head office. He said that 27 unions would take part in the protest.

Asked whether they would step up pressure on the government, he said that a meeting had been called for November 1 at Viharamahadevi open air theatre to decide on the dates for a three-day strike.

CPC General Manager Asoka Thoradeniya told The Island that they would try to reach an agreement with workers on Monday (October 26).

Meanwhile, Lal Kantha, MP, in a statement issued on behalf of the National Trade Union Centre called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s immediate intervention to settle trade union disputes as his ministers could not handle the crisis. He warned the President not to depend on emergency regulations to quell the crisis, as workers of key sectors, including power, water and electricity as well as transport were preparing to resort to trade union action.

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