CEB workers to strike, But the lights will stay on

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Joint Trade Unions Alliance is to launch an islandwide strike in the near future, to protest the Government’s failure to abolish the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), the Ceylon Electricity Board Employees’ Union General Secretary Ranjan Jayalal said yesterday.

However, the unions claim that they will not let their action affect the general public.

“We will find new methods for trade union action so that the general public will not be iconvenienced. There will be a CEB trade union action in near future with an uninterrupted electricity supply,” he said.

Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Jayalal lashed out at the government, saying that it is trying to suppress the voice of the trade unions by misusing the law. However, they will not allow the government to use the same tactics it used on the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) unions, during their recent strike, he asserted.

When asked on as to how the trade unions can strike while ensuring an uninterrupted power supply, Jayalal explained that they will take to the roads without switching off the power supply. Then the government can take action as they boasted earlier to continue the electricity supply.

The trade unions will then launch several awareness campaigns to ensure that the general public will not pay their electricity bills, he pointed out. This is how they will select their methods to commence a trade union action, Jayalal added.

He stressed that they will not put their hands on the power supply but will make sure that the government loses the income from the CEB, he elaborated.

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