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Electricity workers plan massive strike in Sri Lanka

(Xinhua)

08:09, April 11, 2012

COLOMBO, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 15,000 electricity workers in Sri Lanka are preparing to go on strike ahead of an important festive season demanding higher salaries, a union leader said here Tuesday.

Twenty-five trade unions affiliated with the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have decided to abstain from work on Wednesday, a day ahead of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year that is the most celebrated holiday in Sri Lanka.

United Trade Union Front General Secretary H. A. Ranjan Jayalal told the media that the strike could result in power shortages around the country but insisted that it was the government's fault for not providing a 25-percent pay rise as demanded by the workers.

"It is not our intention to make consumers suffer but the government has refused to meet our demands. Given the rising cost of living, we have no other choice," he said.

Higher fuel prices together with a weak currency have resulted in food price hikes in March.

The Central Bank said that inflation was at 5.5 percent last month while several strikes including doctors and other public officials are planned for the weeks ahead.

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