The battle between the Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya (LVSS) and the Power and Energy Ministry deepened further yesterday when Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne told union leaders that he will not issue a circular with regard to monies that would be released before March 15.
LVSS President H. A. Ranjan Jayalal told The Island yesterday that Minister Seneviratne goes on with his assurance that the salary arrears and other dues amounting to nearly rupees 750 million would be paid by March 15.
`The puzzle is why he can`t just put out circular that the said monies would be released before March 15. I believe it is a must to put out a circular before releasing monies to a government department,` Jayalal added.
Jayala said that they had received information that the monies deposited at the People`s Bank to settle the salary arrears and other dues had been used to settle mini hydro bills.
He also said that the latest information they had received is that the Minister would later come out with a statement that the delay is due to the Treasury. However, they should settle the arrears before the Sinhala-Hindu New Year in April.
Speaking about the last week`s sick not campaign, he said that though some unions had misunderstandings, it was a great success. `I would call it as an 80 per cent success.`
However, the present situation is very much different, with the delay in circular, all unions attached to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) numbering nearly14, 500 had come out strongly against minister`s decision,` he said.
`Our Union had already decided to take part at a trade union action next Friday, we are yet discuss this matter with other union members, and we are confident that they too will be with us,` Jayalal added.