Sri Lanka’s Electricity Workers on Token Strike on 21st June

Protest Campaign against electricity tariff gaining momentum

The token strike called for 21 May declared a “national protest day”, by the Co-ordinating Committe for Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) against the most recent electricity tariff hike by the government, has by now caught high fever among the working class and other affected social segments including the urban middle and lower classes.

The CCTUA is a working alliance of major trade unions that include the Federation of University Teacehrs’ Associations (FUTA), National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), Union of Postal and Telecommunication Officers (UPTO), All Ceylon Trade Union Federation (ACTUF), Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ&GSEU), Ceylon Estate Staffs’ Union (CESU), Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU), Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union (LJEWU), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union (ACEWU), Public Services National Trade Union Federation (PSNTUF) and Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU). 

Many trade unions that initially were not within the CCTUA have by now pledged their solidarity and some, their participation too in the token strike. The CMU of Bala Tampoe and the Teachers’ and Principals’ Joint Front has already decided to join the token strike. The “left” trade union federations, Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) and the Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions have pledged their support too. 

All political parties in the opposition, the United National Party (UNP), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), United Socialist Party (USP) and the Democratic People’s Front has already pledged their support for the May 21 national protest day called the “Black Protest” and the one day token strike.

The CCTUA has organised a workers’ delegates conference for 16 May in Colombo, in preparation of the protest and the token strike that would be attended by even unions not within the CCTUA, but have decided to join the protest and the token strike. 

The delegates conference would be preceded by the protest march organised by the joint opposition political parties on 15 May. This is expected to further bolster the mood for the May 21 protest and token strike.

Co-ordinating Committe for Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA)