Postal Unions threaten to strike | Sunday Observer

Postal Unions threaten to strike

Reacting to the postal union’s threat to come out on an indefinite trade union action from the first week of January, ahead of the February 10 LG polls and postal voting on January 25 and 26, primarily involving the postal services, Minister of Postal Services M.H.A. Haleem told the Sunday Observer that the postal services will soon be declared as one of the essential services in addition to the education, health and railway sectors.

The Cabinet has already held two rounds of discussions with the Ministry Secretary and senior officials on the matter.

The grievances of the postal trade unions were a sequel to the amendment to the Circular No. 6/2006 of the Public Administration Ministry that is generally applicable to all government departments and,

in the light of the fact that the postal department works round-the-clock and its nature of operations are entirely different from

those of other departments, efforts were initiated to waive the department from the impact of the circular and also to address the grievances of the employees, Haleem said.

He brought the matter to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena at the World Postal Day celebrations in Polannaruwa on October 9, and subsequently the matter was referred to the sub-committee that was appointed by the President to look into the grievances of the railway employees. It was chaired by Minister Sarath Amunugama with Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam as members, the Minister said.

It is unfair on the part of the postal employees’ union to take TU action at a crucial time when the LG polls are round the corner requiring ballot papers to be delivered and postal voting to be conducted, the Minister said.

United Postal Trade Union Alliance (UPTUA) Co-Convenor Chintaka Bandara told the Sunday Observer that they gave a 14 days notice to the government on their decision to wage TU action, the deadline ended on December 28 but nothing has been done over their genuine grievances that directly impacts on their continuation in employment. The government had enough time but nothing was done, Bandara said.

Had it not been for the new year festivities, they would already have begun the TU action but considering the problems that the people will face, they have put off the TU action to the first week of January, he said.

Commissioner General of Elections R.M.A.L. Senanayake, when asked whether TU action by the union would disrupt the polls, said that he would take up the matter with the relevant authorities.

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