Home Expression SLPA chairman defends move to transfer union leaders

SLPA chairman defends move to transfer union leaders

SLPA chairman defends move to transfer union leaders
(Translated by Akitha Wijayasinghe)
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is taking action against trade union leaders who are protesting against the attempt to sell the Eastern terminal of the Colombo Port to India.
A trade union leader has already been transferred, while disciplinary action has been taken against two other trade union leaders. The administration also plans to identify and take action against active port workers who extend their support during the protests.
However, the trade unions of the SLPA point out that this is a situation that has arisen in the port on a regular basis. They said the 23 trade unions that have joined this time are not ready to succumb to such pressure.

Transfers – Disciplinary inquiries

General Secretary of the All Ceylon Ports General Employees Union, Niroshan Gorakanage has been transferred since the 18th of this month. He has been transferred from the Bandaranayake Pool Division to the Pilot Bridge Division. No reason has been given for the transfer.
An investigation has been launched into a statement made by Shyamal Sumanaratne, the General Secretary of the Commercial, Industrial and Service Progressive Employees Union, to the media. A statement issued, stating that all 23 unions should stay together and united as agreed before, in the struggle against selling the port, is the reason for this investigation.
In addition, a disciplinary inquiry has been launched against R.P.P. Krishantha, the President of the Ports Authority Engineers’ Association, for making a statement to the media. A senior official of the authority said that the administration did not have the power to ban trade union leaders from making statements to the media and that such action could be taken against them if they made such statements only in secrecy or to cause detriment to the authority.
However, neither of the two union leaders have made such a statement and that the allegations make it clear that they have not stated anything detrimental to the port.

“Send me home if I’m wrong!”

Retired Ports Authority Chairman Major General Daya Ratnayake said that action had been taken against the trade union leaders of the SLPA because of their mistakes and that they could prove that they were right and send him home if he was wrong of his actions.
He said that the trade union leaders do not have the authority to do anything they want and that they cannot act against the rules and regulations of the organization in expressing their views to the media as well as in carrying out trade union actions. He further stated that trade union leaders were acting on their own discretion and what he wanted was to change that.


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