Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised port trade unions a meeting to resolve issues pertaining to allegations of illegal transfers, acts of political revenge and the lack of a human resources plan, all matters for which the trade unions hold Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga responsible for.
The Ports Trade Union Federation on June 23 ended their satyagraha upon the request of Wickremesinghe, trade union actions which they had embarked on 17.
Chairman of the Independent Ports Workers Union and Co-Convener of the Ports Trade Union Federation/Collective, Lal Bangamuwage charged that Ranatunga through acts of nepotism, cronyism and family bandyism was presently attempting to establish a family rule with the appointment of family members like Dammika Ranatunga to the post of the Chairman of the Ports Authority, one akin to the previous regime of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“Arjuna Ranatunga is misusing and misappropriating funds of the ministry, “
“Wickremesinghe has promised to meet us within 72 hours. Through our struggle against the administrative authority of the Ports, with regards to the proposed privatization of the Northern Terminal of the Colombo Port, we managed to retain the ownership with the State with only 49% being under private interests,” h said.
A human resources plan was promised, yet it has not materialized. We want it done in three months. We vehemently condemn Ranatunga’s actions. The Prime Minister intervened because of Ranatunga’s incompetence. This is a never-ending struggle and if we do not get satisfactory responses at our meeting with Wickremesinghe, it is very much probable that we will go for further trade union action,” he warned.
Dammika Ranatunga was not available for a comment.