Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sri Lanka faces fuel shortage in oil union protest

Long lines have formed at gas stations in Sri Lanka's capital as workers of the state-owned oil corporation continue a strike to push for a pay increase.

The four-day strike has paralyzed fuel distribution in the capital, Colombo, but authorities say panic buying has aggravated the situation. The strike ends Sunday.

Petroleum minister A.H.M. Fowzie told Parliament on Friday that the government would hold talks with unions Monday.

Trade union spokesman D.J. Rajakaruna has urged the government to give workers at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation an interim allowance of 5000 rupees ($44) per month until salaries are increased.

Such strikes are common in Sri Lanka's state-owned companies.

© The Associated Press

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