CEB workers plan to fall sick in stages from Dec. 5

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Employees of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have decided to obtain sick leave and participate in demonstrations in turns, at provincial level, beginning December 5.

Making the announcement, the CEB Trade Union Coalition (TUC) sad that step was being taken as a token measure to protest against the government’s failure to resolve their problems.

The sick note campaign is scheduled to be launched from the Southern Province and the first protest demonstration will be held in Galle on December 05.

CEB TUC spokesman Ranjan Jayalal said that the sick note campaign would be extended to the Sabaragamuwa Province on December 06, to the Uva Province on December 07, to Central Province on December 10, to the Eastern Province on December 11, to the North-Central Province on December 12 and to the North Western Province on December 13.

Jayalal said that 28 trade unions of the CEB had pledged their support for the trade union action.

The union charged that the salary anomalies and other issues of the CEB employees had not been resolved despite assurances given by the CEB management during their strike from August 10 to 16.

Jayalal stressed that so far no attempt had been made by the CEB management to discuss the issue with the unions.

Meanwhile, CEB Deputy Chairman Anura Wijepala said that though the unions had announced their sick note campaign and demonstrations, they had still not informed the management of their decision in writing.

Wijepala said the planned strike by several Trade Unions was unfair and uncalled for.

He said an agreement had been reached on the main demand of the employees, to resolve salary anomalies, in August but it would take some time for it to be processed.

Wijepala said the CEB unions had ended the previous strike, launched on August 10, following tripartite discussions among the trade unions and officials of the Labor Department and CEB.

"When ending the previous strike, they entered into an agreement but now they are planning another series of strikes which is a big joke," Wijepala said.

"If they are going for a strike it is wrong," Wijepala said, claiming that the CEB was confident that it could provide electricity without interruption.

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