CPC unions suspend strike after assurance from PM

The strike launched by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Trade Union Collective was suspended following an assurance received by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Workers of Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum firm launched the indefinite strike today against the Government’s proposed deal with India to jointly operate an oil storage facility in Trincomalee.

Sri Lanka and India are expected to sign an agreement to jointly invest and develop the Trincomalee Port and establish a petroleum refinery and other industries there.

The workers had three demands which include getting the Government to stop granting outright ownership of some 14 World War II oil storage tanks in the eastern port district of Trincomalee.

The Petroleum Joint Union Alliance said earlier it opposed the proposal to transfer operational rights to oil tanks to India since the agreement would benefit the Lanka IOC, Indian Oil’s subsidiary, allowing it to expand further and the CPC, which is already in debt, will incur further financial losses.

They also asked the Government to shelve plans to build a new oil refinery with Chinese assistance in the southern port of Hambantota and to immediately begin repairing the existing refinery near Colombo. (Colombo Gazette)