Postal unions to launch strike today

Sri Lanka postal workers

Postal workers will launch a continuous strike from today (27) as the government has failed to redress their long standing grievances, Convener of the Joint Postal Workers Union Front Chinthaka Bandara says.

The postal unionists had been protesting against a government move to sell the post offices of historical value in the Galle Fort and Nuwara Eliya to foreigners and several administrative problems, Bandara said.

Bandara said their aim was to protect the postal service and the interests of the postal workers and not to topple or inconvenience the government.

Meanwhile, Udeni Dissanayake General Secretary of the National Trade Union Collective, comprising 18 main trade unions, told The Island that they, too, would join the postal unionists strike if the government did not take prompt action to solve the problems faced by postal workers. The Ceylon Teachers Union, All Island Management Assistants’ Union, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association, Health Professionals’ Union, Independent Harbour Workers’ Union and several other unions had expressed their solidarity with the postal workers, Dissanayake said.

The present government had come to power, promising not to sell public assets, but that promise had been reneged on, Bandara said.

Postal and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister MH Abdul Haleem, contacted for comment, said that the postal workers’ strike was politically motivated. Their objective was to unsettle the government in trouble, he said, adding that the government had held talks with trade unionists and promised to look into their grievances. While the government was taking action to solve their problems, the unionists were staging strikes, the minister added.

(Source: The Island – By Priyadarshana Liyanage)