ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 01

Protest tomorrow at varsity anti-union action

By R.S.Keeriyawatte

The University Trade Union Front is to launch union action on Monday to protest against the anti-trade union stance of the university administration, its organisers said. This is a sequel to the action taken against the non-academics who came back to work after staging an eight-day strike based on several reportedly justifiable demands.

The front alleges that those who participated in the strike were unjustly punished which seems to be an attempt at dealing with the strikers to blunt future resistance from them.

In a letter dated May 30 the inter-campus TU Front has addressed the UGC chairman as under. As the working of the campus was stalled due to trade union action by non-academics from April 2 to May 7, it was agreed by the feuding parties via the intervention of the Labour Commissioner to resume work on May 8.

But due to the administration’s bickering on the issue there is now unrest again in TU circles. The letter dated May 8 issued by the UGC chairman smacks of anti-TU action with union leaders being interdicted on the Vice Chancellor’s orders and non-payment of arrears as agreed.

The transfer of eight security men to the Colombo campus is another among many anti- TU actions taken. The joint TU federation that met on May 30 decided on protest action on June 4. It will be a day’s token strike while the Colombo campus non-academics will join the technical staff for a show down beginning on that day.

If the administration persists in its hard attitude another strike will begin on June 11 sans any notice and would continue until the just demands are met.

A letter to this effect was sent to the relevant authorities with copies to the President, Higher Education Minister and others. It has been signed by the President of the Inter Campus TU Front Lionel Malwattege and joint secretaries Nandasiri Perera and D.M. Senaratne.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.