CEB TU Alliance challenges Minister to take action against 23,800 employees who protested

Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:29 –      – 31

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  • Reveals staggering amounts of unpaid electricity bills by Parliament, Presidential Secretariat and Shiranthi Rajapaksa
  • Calls on Minister to first collect dues from institutions and individuals before disconnecting power supply to struggling citizens who owe smaller amounts
  • Several trade unions underscore growing dissatisfaction over Government’s suppressive attempts to intimidate workers

In a bold move, CEB United Trade Union Alliance Convener Ranjan Jayalal has challenged the Power and Energy Minister to take action against the 23,800 CEB workers who participated in a protest against the restructuring of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

Speaking to the media near the CEB head office yesterday, Jayalal said a total of 15 staff members interdicted and handed over letters, whilst another 51 letters were signed but not yet handed over.

The CEB United Trade Union Alliance yesterday distributed brochures on their ongoing protest against the Government’s decision to restructure the CEB with support from other trade unions that include; banks, ports, teachers, telecom, postal and many others.

He pointed out that the demonstration was not a strike, but a protest against the Government’s decision to restructure the CEB. “We protested while ensuring continuous electricity supply and related services,” he added. Jayalal expressed discontent with the Government’s response, stating that they are seeking legal action against what he perceives as suppression of trade union members and staff.

He also raised concerns about unpaid bills, claiming that the Parliament owes over Rs. 70 million to the CEB for six months, the President’s Secretariat owes Rs. 22 million to the CEB and Shiranthi Rajapaksa has yet to settle a Rs. 900,000 electricity bill.

Challenging the Power and Energy Minister, Jayalal urged the collection of dues from these institutions and individuals before disconnecting the power supply to struggling citizens who owe smaller amounts.  Meanwhile, the collective stance of several trade unions underscores the growing dissatisfaction and resistance against the proposed restructuring of the CEB and the Government’s suppressive attempts to intimidate workers.

Ceylon Teachers’ Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin asserted that the Government could not intimidate trade unions through suppression and interdiction of workers.

United Postal Trade Union’s Front Co-Convener Chinthaka Bandara cautioned the public is closely monitoring the behaviour of the 225 members of the Parliament that are in favour of selling State-owned properties, adding that the repercussions of such actions will reflect in the upcoming election results.

Ceylon Bank Employees Union Senior Vice President Anupa Nandalal called on workers to unite around trade unions to demand the relief they deserve in electricity, telecom and banks.

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