The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) say they will launch a work-to-rule campaign from May 8. The trade union action was initially scheduled to be launched this Friday (20). However, the union postponed the strike by two weeks following discussions with Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Ministry officials yesterday.
The union had earlier warned that such a work-to-rule campaign could cause intermittent power failures and even power cuts throughout the island.
The engineers’ trade union action is being launched over what it says is failure on the part of the Government to resolve a dispute between the CEB and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the power sector regulator, over approving the country’s Least Cost Power Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP). The CEBEU wants the Government to intervene and approve the plan favoured by the CEB.
Last year, the PUCSL approved a plan which does not contain any coal power plants. The CEBEU has maintained that the PUCSL had amended the plan submitted by the CEB and approved its own version, which the union claims is illegal. The regulator denies the charge.
Meanwhile, issuing a statement, the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy said Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya is committed to providing a solution to the issue and some positive steps had already been taken.