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Trade unions meet to decide on action to be taken against CEB suspending 15 workers

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The Ceylon Electricity Board unions have convened a meeting with all state and private sector unions on Monday (22) to decide on what to do about the decision taken by authorities to suspend 15 of their workers, Secretary of the Combined Trade Union Alliance of the CEB Ranjan Jayalal, said.

Earlier, CEB spokesman Engineer Noel Priyantha said they have interdicted 15 employees for disrupting services during a protest against the proposed restructuring of the state-owned electricity supplier seen by many as unwieldy in its current state.

“They have interdicted 15. Apparently they have a list with over 100 names that they want to punish. We will not allow this. We have convened a meeting with all state and private unions on Monday and decide on a course of action,” Jayalal said.

He said CEB trade unions carried out a series of protests between 03 and 05 January against the government moves to restructure the entity and the proposed Electricity Bill.

The CEB said those interdicted are clerical staff members in charge of the cash counters. The CEB alleged that these workers prevented customers from paying their bills by closing the payment counters.

Jayalal, however, claimed that services were not disrupted.

The CEB management, prior to the strike, issued a circular cancelling the leave of all employees from 02 January. In December, President Ranil Wickremesinghe declared all services, connected to the electricity supply, as essential public services.

After the three-day trade union action, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera instructed the CEB management to suspend and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employees who disrupted the services, or acted in violation of the guidelines.

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