The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Workers’ Union announced yesterday that it would engage in an indefinite strike from September 13 over several demands including the revision of the salary ratio from 1:6 to 1:9.
Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Union Secretary Ranjan Jayalal said the salary scales of administrative officers at the CEB had been increased on numerous occasions, but the salary scale of lower level employees remained unchanged.
Speaking of salary anomalies, Mr. Jayalal said the administrative staff had a raise on January 8, 2008 through a circular. However, another circular increasing the salaries of non-executives and non-engineers had been issued on the same day. Yet, there had been no news of such increments to lower level employees.
“Due to these increments, the ratio of the salary between administrative staff and lower level employees has widened to 1:9, whereas it was 1:6 in 2015,” Mr. Jayalal said.
The union has decided to launch a two-day strike on September 13 initially to give time to the government and relevant high ranking officials to revise the salary ratios.
“If we do not receive a favourable response by September 15, we will continue the strike indefinitely,” he said.
Mr. Jayalal confirmed that the supply of electricity would not be disrupted by the strike.
“If there were issues during the strike, relevant officials will have to resolve them personally as lower level employees will not be available at work. We had discussions with the subject minister and other officials. We did everything we could, hoping that our demands will be met. As it is not the case, we resorted to hold a strike. It is now the minister’s turn to speak up and reveal to the public the burden of corruption palmed off to them by the higher levels of the CEB,” he said.
He said the union had no political or personal agenda, and that the only thing they benefited from the move was hopefully a change in the salary ratio.