Trade unions in the Ceylon Electricity Board appeared to be split yesterday on a proposed work stoppage today in support of demands for salary increases.
The JVP-backed Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya leader, Ranjan Jayalal, claimed they had the support of several unions and some 14,500 employees for the work stoppage and demonstration today.
But another CEB trade union alliance claiming it had the support of some 40 unions said yesterday they would not support today`s work stoppage which was unethical and had the backing of only a few unions.
The trade union alliance`s convener Ananda Nimalaratne said the work stoppage was unreasonable as the unions had at earlier meetings agreed to give Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne time till March 15 to implement the salary increases.
Mr. Nimalaratne said that even the LVSS had agreed to wait till March 15 but now that union was adopting different tactics though the CEB board of directors on February 17 had agreed to pay the revised salary scales with arrears.
Minister Seneviratne and CEB Chairman Chula Delgoda yesterday condemned the decision by one union to launch a strike while 40 other unions had agreed to wait till March 15 for the implementation of the new salary structure.
The Minister said he had learnt that non-striking employees had received threats but he gave a guarantee that the security of all employees would be ensured today.