Bandula Gunewardena, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services, has ruled out closure of the Buildings Materials Corporation (BMC). “There are no plans to shut down the corporation,” Minister Gunewardena has said.
BMC managing director Sarath Silva said steps were being taken to revive the financially strapped corporation. “The BMC has entered into an agreement with the State Trading Corporation to distribute cement imported from Pakistan,” Mr. Silva said, adding that BMC management had been encouraged to find ways to make the organisation financially viable.
The BMC was closed for two days last week following a dispute between management and trade unions fighting on behalf of employees claiming they had not been paid for several months and now demanding a salary increase. The corporation was re-opened last Monday following discussions with the minister, who promised that the employees’ complaints would be looked into.
According to Jatika Sevaka Sangamaya (National Employees’ Union) chief organiser Palitha Athukorala, the trade unions have appealed to Minister Gunewardena and the BMC management to ensure that BMC staff received all payments due to them.