Manpower employees of CEB end 23-day strike


by Madura Ranwala

Meter readers employed by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) under contract from Man Power companies for many years, finally stopped their protest staged in front of the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, Kollupitiya yesterday evening after they were assured by CEB General Manager N.C. Wickramasekara that they would be recruited as permanent employees after an interview in two weeks’ time.

 The man power employees staged their strike for 23 days. The assurance was given to them after Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told a media conference at the ministry yesterday morning that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had decided to recruit them to permanent cadre within three months on humanitarian grounds though the government was not legally bound to do so.

 President of CEB Billing Officers Union, Priyantha Wickramasinghe told The Island last night that they would give up their protest held under extreme heat and heavy down pours during day and night for 23 days due to the credible assurance given to them by the GM Wickramasekara.

 He stressed that they would launch the strike again, if they were misled. Siyambalapitiya said that the CEB would not recruit anyone from any man power agencies in the future after they recruited the present lot.

 He said if the CEB needed new employees it would rather recruit them directly as trainees after an interview.

 Minister Siyambalapitiya praised their service to the Board and added that a cabinet paper was needed get approval for the decision to make it legal.

 He said, "Among them there are employees who had not passed mathematics in the ordinary level in one sitting, which is a prerequisite, but the government will consider that matter in a more humanitarian manner and grant justice to them."

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