Sri Lanka News

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Port crisis: SLPA losing millions daily

Thousands of Colombo Port workers demanding rectification of their salary anomalies staging a lunch-hour picket opposite the Ports Authority Office in the Fort yesterday. Pic by Manoj Ratnayake

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has suffered losses amounting more than Rs. 470 million during the past five days due to the work to rule campaign launched by its employees who are demanding the rectification of their salaries, officials said.

They said the SLPA was also forced to pay Rs. eight million to Hanjin Shipping as demurrage due to the ongoing trade union action.

A large number of Port workers who took part in a lunch hour picket yesterday said they were determined to go ahead with their work to rule campaign until their demands were met.

Port Employees General Union Convener Chandrasiri Mahagamage told the Daily Mirror the discussions held between union representatives and the three-member committee appointed by the Ministry did not produce results.

“We will be meeting again today to reach a final solution and if that fails we might give up the go- slow campaign and launch a full scale strike,” Mr. Mahagamage said however adding that he hoped today’s talks would produce positive results.

He said though the committee had inquired as to why the port employees were seeking a salary hike despite being entitled to attractive salary scales and allowances, only about 25% of the 14,000 workforce were entitled to such salaries.

The unions sought President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to settle the issue which is causing heavy losses to the SLPA. -Daily Mirror By Gagani Weerakoon

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July 18, 2006 - Posted by | Media Journalism, News and politics, South Asia, World News

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