East Container Terminal issue: Ports TUs on work-to-rule tomorrow

By Dinitha Rathnayake 


Trade unions (TUs) attached to the Colombo Port are due to start a work-to-rule protest campaign tomorrow (29), which would continue through to the weekend, in opposition to the granting of a 49% stake in the East Container Terminal (ECT) to India.

Based on the authorities’ response, they would proceed to embark on large-scale trade union action with a collective of 237 civil society organisations.

“We are starting this trade union action since the relevant Cabinet Sub-Committee would meet tomorrow to discuss this issue, and a response to this can be expected by 1 February,” stated Trade Unions to Protect the ECT Co-Convener Sanjeewa Kumara Weligama to The Morning yesterday (27).

Weligama added that they hope to be called in for a discussion with the Prime Minister tomorrow, as they have already sent a letter to his office informing him of their decision of initiating stronger trade union action.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman (Retd.) Gen. Daya Ratnayake told The Morning that a work-to-rule campaign would consist of working without corruption, efficiently, and on time.

However, the discussions that are currently taking place regarding the ECT have not been concluded yet, and this trade union action has not yet been communicated to the management, he noted.

Ratnayake added that the trade union proposals that have been handed over to them are currently being considered as well.

Trade union action has been consistently initiated against the Government’s proposal to grant 49% of the shares of the ECT to the Indian conglomerate, the Adani Group of Companies.