After several days of a train strike that inconvenienced hundreds of commuters countrywide, the Ceylon Electricity Board Trade Union commenced a hunger strike.
The CEB hunger strike is now on its sixth day and is supported by 32 Trade unions of the institute. The strike was launched demanding an immediate stop to slashing their annual bonus and medical leave.
Commenting on the issue, Ranjan Jayalal, Convener of the CEB Joint Trade Unions on Thursday, December 14, said:
There is an attempt to increase the electricity tariff by 12% from January next year. They are burdening the people.
He further stated that the benefits of the workers who work to supply electricity during all national disasters are slashed, though they are praised by the ministry for their dedication. If the ministry does not solve the matter as promised, by Monday, December 18, they will launch a strike action.
A steering committee member of the CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance stated: The CEB management has verbally assured us that solutions would be given by this Monday. But we do not trust the CEB and the Ministry. So, we will continue this hunger strike until we received an assurance in writing. We believe the top management of the CEB has an intent of avoiding this heading into an indefinite strike.
Meanwhile, Sagala Lakmal (Steering Committee member of CEB Joint Trade Unnion Alliance) speaking on the matter said:
We call on the rulers to immediately stop slashing the overtime payment and bonuses of those who spoke up against the thieves. The trade union representatives have been patient up to now only because of the GCE Ordinary Level Examination. But if the rulers have no regard for this, if they are not holding any accountability, and if they do not give us a response by 12 noon on Monday, we will transform this hunger strike to an islandwide strike action.