The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) employees have decided to continue to halt refilling and distribution of fuel from the oil refinery installation at Kolonnawa from today against the government's move to privatize the CPC.
CPC General Employees Union President Ashoka Ranwala during a demonstration in front of the oil installation in Kolonnawa told the media yesterday that fuel distribution in the country had come to a standstill due to the ongoing trade union action.
He added that CPC employees had taken over the protest from the trade unions and had decided to refrain from engaging in duties from this morning.
“The fuel distribution had stopped from Kolonnawa, Muthurajawela terminals, Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery and from all fuel stock distribution centres from 1 p.m. yesterday. We are awaiting a discussion with the Minister or the President to resolve the issue,” he stated.
Ranwala observed that there is a high probability of fuel queues emerging from today due to bowsers not being refuelled, and the government should take the responsibility for inconveniencing the public if such a situation arises.
He challenged Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera to privatize the CPC and asked the government not to underestimate employees collective strength while claiming that they have the power to stop the distribution process across the country.
CPC General Employees Union President said that they have decided to engage in a massive countrywide trade union action with the support of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), if the Minister or the President did not listen to the CPC employees.
Ranwala told that the minister should take immediate action to roll back the cabinet decision to sell the stakes owned by the government institutions to private companies, without provoking the employees to go for a massive trade union action.
He further stated that they would advise the minister on how to gain profit if the minister comes for a discussion with them. (Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama)
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