The Milco Company said today that multi-national companies could be operating behind the scenes to foment the strike which had been launched by a trade union of the Milco Company staff in order to disrupt the company.
“The strike which has been launched by the workers affiliated to the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya is not regarding an issue involving the staff but is being carried out according to a personal agenda.” said Milco’s deputy chairman Sanjaya Leelaratne at a media briefing.
“When we took over the management of the company it was full of corruption and misdeeds; but we took it along the correct path by instilling discipline in the staff. I wonder whether multi-national companies could be behind this strike.
Milco chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe said that they were ready to face a court of inquiry regarding the allegations of corruption but requested the workers to call off the strike and report for duty to without inconveniencing the public during the festive season.
“Strike action had been launched at four factories without prior notification. We have already fulfilled their demands. We have paid half of their bonus, and the rest will be paid in April. Workers who have served more than five years have been made permanent. The minister has promised that their jobs would be secure even if the factory is shifted from Narahenpita to Badalgama. Now that their demands have been met, they want the chairman, deputy chairman and director to resign,” he said.
Mr. Wickramasinghe said the company continued to buy milk from dairy farmers and production was going on as usual with the support of the workers who report for duty despite threats from trade union leaders. “We have lost Rs. 200 million in sales due to this strike. These strikers have damaged many of the machines in the factories as well,” he said.
The Milco branch of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya, launched the strike on December 9 calling for the removal of the company management. (Ajith Siriwardana) - (Pix by Kushan Pathiraja)