Monday, November 02, 2009

Sri Lanka Army to combat strikes

All the 27 major unions which form the Alliance of the United Unions of the CEB, and the workers of the CEB will arrive at a major trade union agreement at the unions summit meeting which will be held today at the Vihara Maha Devi Park, and their joint decision will be revealed to the country shortly. Unions are agitating for Rs.5,000 interim allowance, as the government had granted such to state banks employees —- but declined to grant same to others citing financial difficulties.

Ranjan Jayalal, a member of the operations committee of the CEB Alliance of United Unions said that the CEB unions have decided to launch a joint strike with the support of Harbour, Petroleum and Water Supply unions —- instead of the three day strike they had initially decided upon.

The Petroleum workers worked to rule and refrained from working overtime on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of October, demanding their delayed salary increments and the fulfillment of the promise of an allowance of Rs 5000, until the salary increment of 2009 is granted. The convener of the Petroleum United Unions, D.J. Rajakaruna said that the president hasn’t called them for any discussion, although the workers stalled union action as the president promised to initiate discussions with workers.

Convener of the National Trade Unions Congress K.D. Lal Kantha said that the government ministers, terrified by this prospective strike, are boasting that the government will use Army soldiers to replace strikers. Lal Kantha said that there’s nothing the Army can do in a joint strike situation and challenged the government to do whatever they are capable of.


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