A 24-hour-strike would be launched from Wednesday, April 5 midnight by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Joint Trade Unions Alliance against the alleged oppression of trade unions and to urge the Government to rectify CEB employees’ salary anomalies.
“We are looking at a massive strike, which involves drivers, storekeepers and all the employees. In a case of a breakdown, no employee will be available to repair them, till Friday morning,” Ceylon Electricity Employees Union Secretary Ranjan Jayalal told the Daily Mirror.
He said all of the CEB’s work would be hindered on Thursday at all its plants. “Bill payment, maintenance, tender calling are some of the other procedures which will be affected,” he said.
He said the main objective of the strike was to rectify the current salary anomaly within the CEB.
“The standard salary difference between the management level and lower level employees should be 4:1. Any salary increase should be made based on this rate. However, it was changed to 5:1 in 2012. Then Government agreed to rectify this by increasing salaries of all employees by 30 percent in 2014,” he said.
He said at present, management level employees enjoy a salary hike between 70-120 percent while other employee’s salary had only been increased by 30 percent following two discreet gazettes issued on last presidential Election Day.
“CEB top management officials’ salaries were increased during the last Presidential Election so the politicians could distribute light posts and other CEB properties during the election.
“When we raised the issue, they agreed to increase the salaries of all employees, but on the Election Day, two different Gazette notices were issued,” he said.
He said they had had discussions with Ministers Champika Ranawaka and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya but to no avail. (Lahiru Pothmulla)