CEBEU Declares Indefinite Work-To-Rule
By Faadhila Thassim
The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) commenced an indefinite work-to-rule campaign yesterday (25) as a trade union action until several demands, including that of terminating the New Fortress Energy LNG deal are met.
Chairman of CEBEU, Saumya Kumarawadu, said this could lead to intermittent and prolonged recovery of power outages however, adding that a concerted effort would be made to minimise its effect to hospitals and places of importance including national security.
Accordingly, CEBEU would only work during the normal office hours but would attend to emergencies and breakdowns even after normal working hours during the ‘level 1’ work-to-rule campaign.
“If demands are not met within a reasonable period of time, we will be reluctantly compelled to extend our trade union action to ‘level 2’, where even breakdowns/emergencies would not be attended to, after the normal office hours,” he said.
He remarked that the main demand is to ensure the discontinuation of the New Fortress Energy Deal which was an illegal agreement and pointed out that the American Company, New Fortress Energy, is bankrupt and does not in any way merit the selection criteria of an International Tender.
Furthermore, those who had opposed the New Fortress Energy LNG deal have since been removed from their respective positions while noting that the Standard Procedure of appointing a General Manager to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has been violated and attempts are now underway to politicise such appointments, he said.
‘’The motive behind such politicising is to create a corrupt environment within the CEB that would condone the approval of the New Fortress Energy LNG deal,” he alleged.
Elaborating further, Kumarawadu said, until the demands of the CEBEU, including that of permitting the ongoing transparent Tender Procedure by the CEB for continuous LNG development, to stop attempts to unbundle the CEB, to cease proposed amendments for the Board Act No.17 of 1969, to stop interference and politicisation by the appointment of a new General Manager of CEB and to stop abrupt and arbitrary transfers of the Senior Management are met, trade union action shall continue.
CEBEU previously commenced a ‘Non-cooperation’ campaign against the Chairman of CEB on 22 November which is still in force while a picketing campaign was also staged.