Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has warned that while the government is ready for discussions with trade unions at any moment, it will not hesitate to take swift action if public is inconvenienced.
He also charged that some trade union leaders acting as cat’s paw of certain defeated politicians do not allow settlement during strikes.
He was participating in the debate on the Gazette Extraordinary issued by the President declaring supply and distribution of fuel as an essential public service.
He went on that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had incurred huge losses suffered and damages owing to the strike by its workers over the past few days. He would furnish a report in that regard to the House shortly.
He added that we issued the Gazette because we saw how the public was inconvenienced due to the trade union action. The government is grappling with many issues such as the garbage disposal and dengue epidemic at the same time. Had the oil crisis continued any longer, the country would have been crippled.
We are ready for discussions at any moment and at the same time we won’t hesitate to take swift action if public is inconvenienced.