20 CPC trade unionists sent on compulsory leave | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

20 CPC trade unionists sent on compulsory leave

30 March, 2023
Fuel bowsers leaving the Muthurajawela terminal. (Picture by Prasanga Perera,Ja-ela group corr)
Fuel bowsers leaving the Muthurajawela terminal. (Picture by Prasanga Perera,Ja-ela group corr)

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said that 20 employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), including trade union leaders, were sent on compulsory leave for disrupting fuel distribution.

They have been banned from entering the territory of the CPC and the security service of the Petroleum Corporation has also been informed about it.

Requesting the public not to fear or panic that there will be a shortage of fuel, the Minister said that the CPC and IOC have stored enough quantity of fuel. Besides fuel ships are also reaching the country on a regular basis. The Minister also said that the distribution of fuel required for the upcoming festive season has been expedited and asserted that there is no shortage of fuel. The Minister said this at the special press conference held at the Power and Energy Ministry yesterday (29).

He emphasized that there is a leader of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) among the union leaders, who have been sent on compulsory leave. Strict disciplinary and legal action will be taken against anyone who disrupts essential services regardless of politics. The Minister also said that a representative of the JVP named Ashoka Ranwala has also obstructed the distribution of fuel and legal action will be taken against him.

Minister Wijesekara pointed out that 95 per cent of the employees of the CPC did not join in the sabotage activities carried out by several trade unions even though the leaders of several trade unions, retired workers and people from some political parties took action and threatened the workers.

The Minister said that these disruptive trade unions had tried to damage the fuel distribution pipe system and the computerized automated distribution system. However by calling the police, the Police Special Task Force (STF) and the army, the sabotage actions of the trade unions was thwarted. He noted that fuel distribution activities are currently being carried out as normal under the protection of the police, STF and the army for security.

Investigations will be conducted based on the CCTV footage and complaints received from other employees against the employees who disrupted the fuel distribution activities and the employees who interfered with hampering the essential services. Besides charge sheets will be issued against them accordingly in due course.

The Minister also emphasised that maximum legal measures will be taken agsint those errant employees and sabotuers.

The Minister who asked the loyal employees not to be fooled by the misleading statements made by several trade unions, said that the CPC will never try to sack or prejudice the employees. He said that four vehicles and unlimited fuel allowances, which had been provided to the union leaders, have been taken back and no fuel quota has been given to any union leader.

The minister emphasized that employees who report to work and behave in a disciplined manner will be given allowances and privileges in April and henceforth union leaders will not sit on the transfer board of the institution.

He said that there is no fuel shortage and a fuel shortage will not be allowed under any circumstances.

“I will not allow queues to be created again at a time when the country is on a progressive path. Therefore, we request the people not to panic as there is enough fuel in our reserves of both CPC and the Lanka IOC Company,” Minister Wijesekera further said.