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Work-to-rule no impact

The Security Forces are ready to assist authorities to maintain essential services in the country, if required and if requested Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayak-kara said yesterday.

However, no such request has been made as yet, he added as several trade unions of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) launched a work-to-rule campaign demanding a salary hike.

The Military Spokesman said the military would assist if required and if given the green light by the Defence Ministry to maintain essential services without interruption so as not to cause any hardship to the public.

Inquired from authorities of the above departments, they said the work-to-rule campaign had not affected their daily routine. They also added that a majority of workers in their institutions were against the campaign.

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Acting Chairman Methsiri Wijegunawardene said measures were taken to maintain an uninterrupted supply of fuel to filling stations. He added that contingency measures such as increasing the quantity of fuel released to distribution centres and amending their credit facilities accordingly was on the cards if required.

Meanwhile,Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman E. Edirisinghe said the work-to-rule campaign had not ruffled any feathers as yet.

He said out of 43 trade unions functioning in the CEB, only six were involved in the work-to-rule campaign.

“In any eventuality we are confident of maintaining an uninterrupted service,” he added.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrema said operations of in and out bound ship movements had been maintained at the harbour uninterrupted.

However there had been a slight disruption in the container terminal operations which too would be rectified by afternoon, he added.

He said a contingency plan was ready if the need arises with trained personnel being kept ready to take over affected positions, if required. The Government has already decided to give a 22 percent pay hike effective from this month but to be paid in January 2010. The Unions however, demand a pay hike from January 2009 to be paid with arrears.

Meanwhile, the Opposition led trade union action has come under strong criticism from the public.

The parties concerned have been accused of using the State workers to gain political mileage. Several trade unions supporting the Government staged a massive protest campaign on Tuesday against the scheduled work-to-rule campaign by the four major unions.

Meanwhile our Vavuniya correspondent said. final distribution in Vavuniya yesterday was not affected by the work-to-rule campaign by some CPC trade unions.

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[ A total flop - WP Governor]

Veteran Trade Unionist and Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana yesterday thanked the workers of the Ports, CPC, Water Board and CEB for ensuring an uninterrupted service by not playing into the hands of disruptive elements bent on sabotage to cause embarrassment to the Government. He declared that the work-to-rule campaign was a total flop.

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