51 more Ceylon Electricity Board employees interdicted

Ceylon Electricity Board - Sri Lanka

51 more employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have been terminated from their jobs.

They were interdicted due to obstructing the services by refusing to accept payments from consumers who came to pay their electricity bills during their three-day protest staged against the proposed restructuring of the state-owned electricity supplier.

CEB trade union members engaged in a series of protests for three days from January 03 to January 05, challenging the government’s Bill to restructure the CEB.

On Friday (January 15), the CEB suspended 15 clerical staff members in charge of the cash counters for inconveniencing the customers, who had come to pay their bills, by closing the windows of the counters and refraining from accepting payments.

Accordingly, 66 employees in total remain interdicted.

The CEB says further investigations are underway to identify other employees who abstained from duty and disrupted services amid the trade union action.

Prior to the trade union action, CEB management had canceled the leave of all employees with effect from January 02 through a circular.

However, employees are permitted to take leave for urgent matters with the approval of an Executive Officer attached to the concerned Division or Branch.

Meanwhile, Extraordinary Gazette No.2363.02 published on December 18, 2023, on the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, had declared all services connected to the electricity supply as essential public services.

After the three-day trade union action was launched, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera instructed the CEB management to suspend and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employees disrupting the services, or acting in violation of the guidelines.