CEB spending on “madness”; workers to go on strike

CEB spending on “madness”; workers to go on strike

August 29, 2011   03:28 pm

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) workers threaten to launch a half-a-day (12-hour) strike on September 7 from 12 noon onwards, if their promised salary increments are not provided.

Operations Committee member of the CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance, Ranjan Jayalal addressing the media today (August 29) said that the final wage hike they received was way back in 2006.

He stated that CEB workers had been promised a 22% salary increase in 2009, however the increment was never provided.

Not one cent of the money allocated for the CEB annually in the budget was provided for the wellbeing of the workers, he stated.  

Owing to these reasons the Electricity Board workers say they have decide to take to strike action on September 07 which will commence at 12 noon and end at 12 midnight.

Mr. Jayalal said he is aware of the difficulties the strike would cause the public - as a possible power failure is expected due to the strike – however, he reasoned that the measure was necessary in order to win their demands.  

Champika’s Rs.80,000 bed

He mentioned that Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka had previously said that he would not allow the employees under his Ministry to make various demands and resort to trade union actions.  

The Minister had claimed he knows how to handle union leaders, said Ranjan Jayalal who went on to challenge the Energy Minister to stop the workers’ strike if possible.

He stressed that the strike action will be withdrawn only if their demands are provided.

“The Minister, who shaved his head and observed Dasa Sil (Ten Precepts) because the Pan Sil (Five Precepts) was not enough, is exploiting Buddhism for cheap political gains.” he accused.

When inquired by media persons whether resorting to a strike while the Electricity Board is facing losses is unjust, he responded by claiming that recently a bed was purchased for Rs.80,000 and transported to Kataragama all the way from Colombo when the Minister had visited Kataragama.

He alleged that a lorry was sent to Colombo from Kataragama in order to transport the bed and that large amounts of money was spent for the bed as well as for transport.

Why is the Ceylon electricity Board, which is capable to waste money for such “madness,” not affording us our rights? Jayalal queried.

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