By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Joint Postal Trade Union (JPTU) said it had launched a 48-hour token strike at the Central Mail Exchange (CME) from 4.00 pm yesterday based on three demands they had made.
The union’s main demand is to convert the Postal Service into a ‘Closed Service’ so as to enable the department to independently decide on the salaries and recruitment.
“This is the best solution to address the issues created by Circular 6/2006 pertaining to the salaries of all government departments. Postal Department employees point out that the circular had a negative impact on their promotions and other benefits,” JPTU convener Chintaka Bandara said.
He said if the government failed to provide a solution to their demands within 48 hours, the token strike would be extended countrywide.
Mr. Bandara said a 16-day work stopage was launched last year and it resulted in a Presidential Commission being set up to address their grievances.
“But no action has been taken so far while the authorities had closed down 17 sub-post offices in remote villages claiming that they did not generate any income to the postal department,” he said and added that the Postal Department should have a proper mechanism to generate revenue from post offices while providing a service to the public.
Mr. Bandara said the government and the postal administration should take the responsibility for any inconvenience caused to the public during the strike.