Irate CEB trade unions threaten all-out strike to win their demands

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The entire country might face a blackout from next month as Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) trade unions have decided to go for an all-out strike anytime after May 01 demanding rectification of their salary anomalies.

Insiders, however, said without the participation of its powerful Engineers’ Union it would be very difficult for all other unions to cripple the power supply.

The decision to strike was taken yesterday at a meeting attended by representatives from 32 CEB trade unions including UNP affiliated Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya and SLFP’s Sri Lanka Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya.

Convener of the CEB Trade Union Alliance Ranjan Jayalal of the JVP told The Island that their trade union leaders had met at the CEB premises yesterday noon and decided to stage an all-out strike as the government had chosen to ignore 24 hour token strike from midnight of April 05 to midnight April 06.

"Our members unanimously decided to go for an all out strike after May 01," he said, adding they would give the government two weeks to solve their problems.

The CEB Trade Union Alliance would send a letter to the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and CEB management shortly informing them of the scheduled trade union action, Jayalal said.

He said the government had increased the salaries of CEB management by 70% to 125% but employees of the lower categories had got only 30% salary increase in 2015.

The salary ratio of lower employees and management should be 1:6, Jayalal said, adding that it was now 1:9 following the 2015 salary increase.

The trade unionist said they had given the CEB one and a half years to solve the problem, but in vain.

Jayalal said their members were being harassed by the CEB management following thier the 24-hour strike last week and they had no option but to go for an all-out strike to win their demands.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...