United Postal Unions, Stage Two days Strike in Sri Lanka
Protesting against a unilateral decision of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Management [CCEM] to acquire properties of Sri Lanka Post, in strategic locations for Tourism Pipeline Projects, all the postal union in Sri Lanka Post are united and staging two days strike on 13 & 14th June 2017.
All postal sector employees in Sri Lanka express their anger on policy maker’s non-transparent decisions detrimental to the Postal Department. Postal department is bleeding, finances are in bad shape, and General Post Office in Colombo is put up in in rented premises. Rather than moving in to the department’s renewed and refurbished its own premises the CCEM is planning to acquire the premises for tourism pipeline projects; said, G C Keerthiratne, President of the Union of Post and Telecommunication Officers (UPTO). Government of Sri Lanka has taken decisions to transfer properties belonging to the Department of Post for the private sector for various economic activities. Keerthiratne said that the Good Governance oriented government, should first discuss with the trade unions as to what their plans are; as the unions are cooperating with the postal authorities to minimize avoidable expenses and increase revenues for the department to provide universal postal services to the public at affordable rates.
General Post Office - Colombo Kandy Post Office Premises
Gamini Hettiarchchi President of NPTWU, the government is chalking out plans to hand over the Post Office premises in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle and the iconic British heritage buildings in Colombo, the General Post Office; to a private investor for tourism related projects. Hettiarchchi supports that postal department to modernize it’s buildings and diversify into other commercial activities with new business models to raise revenues. But he said that the United Postal Front is against any unilateral decisions of the government to sell out the wealth of the department to the private sector, We are keen to see that any new projects are jointly managed and implemented with Postal Authorities. They urge the authorities to discuss with the trade unions in a transparent manner and seek the support of all the employees for the proposed modernizations to raise revenues for the department.
Approximately about 20000 postal employees struck work standing in solidarity with the unions, around 640 post offices and 3000 odd sub-post offices are closed for business on 13-14 June 2017.