JVP-led Samurdhi officers complain

by Dasun Edirisinghe

 JVP-led Samurdhi officers yesterday claimed that the Authority was using their overtime payments to forcefully transport them to the Parliament roundabout for today’s pro–government protest rally.

General Secretary of the Samurdhi Development Officers’ Union Chamara Maddumakaluge told The Island that the Supreme Court decision would be announced in Parliament today and the government had organized a protest with their henchmen.

"We had been ordered to work last Saturday and Sunday to prepare the progress report of the Samurdhi banks," he said adding, but the authority withheld the overtime payments.

Maddumakaluge said that a Samurdhi manager and an ordinary employee in a Samurdhi bank received Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 600 respectively as over time payment per day.

But, top officials have ordered that their overtime payments for Nov. 03 and 04 be used to cover today’s transport costs, he said.

The trade unionist said that the Samurdhi Development officers were also ordered to bring five Samurdhi beneficiaries for today’s protest.

When contacted by The Island for comment, Samurdhi Director General Bandula Thilakasiri denied the allegation made by the union.

He said that the particular union worked according to the political needs of the JVP. Its membership stood at around 100.

"We had been ordered to submit this year’s progress reports of Samurdhi banks before Nov. 07," Thilakasiri said adding that that was the reason to order work on the weekend.

He said that they invited all Samurdhi trade unions for a discussion on the Divineguma Bill yesterday, but that union did not even come for the discussion.

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