|Tuesday, 14 October 2003|
CEB trade unions blame Ministry for inefficiency
by Rashomi Silva
Ceylon Electricity Board trade unions yesterday blamed inefficiency and the high level of bureaucracy at the Power and Energy Ministry for the upper hand gained by opportunistic elements with political motives.
A trade union official claimed that the Sinhalese translation of the draft of the Joint agreement that was to be signed by the Power Sector Reforms Office and the CEB trade unions had given incomplete details about workers' privileges following the CEB's diversification into eight companies.
"We were repeatedly guaranteed that our rights and privileges will be safeguarded even after the Reforms took place. But the terms used in the draft gives ambiguous meaning. And it is not clear about the Reforms Office stand on the EPF and pension funds." However he said the power sector officials said that the ambiguity was due to the translation.
"We too admit that the reforms are a must if the CEB is to operate more efficiently but the date set for the reform are dragging on mainly due to the inefficiency at top official level", he said.
The JVP backed trade union 'Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya' is giving misinterpretations and prejudicing the workers against the reform and urge them to go on protests.
The Power sector office meanwhile refuted the allegations by 'certain political elements' and said that the 'unbundled' CEB will continue with its own EPF fund accounts and assured that workers' privileges, rights and the aspirations will be safeguarded by the Reforms.
They claim there were forces trying to create chaos in the CEB and appealed to the workers not to be mislead by these elements.
Produced by Lake House