Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

 

More than 3,000 striking employees shut down Sri Lanka’s international airport

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 April 2018

Asia

Striking workers shut down Sri Lanka’s main airport

More than 3,000 workers from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake walked out on strike and protested outside the airport on April 3 for higher wages and other demands.

The strike included management, engineering, security and power sector workers. They want their wages increased by a minimum of Rs 10,000 per month, disaster loan payments, proper insurance procedures and disciplinary action taken against the head of security. Radio transmission station workers at Mattala and Attidiya and radar station workers at Pidurutalagala also walked out in support of the BIA strikers.

The workers blocked the entrance to the airport and protested inside the facility, taking control of water and all power supplies. Airport authorities mobilised police and Special Task Force (STF) officers, as well as anti-riot squads, in an attempt to intimidate the striking workers.

The strike ended later that evening after Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation officials promised to grant workers’ demands. Strikers said they had been promised various allowances over the past three years but nothing had been paid.

Sri Lankan university non-academic workers to continue strike

The University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) announced on April 4 that 15,000 university non-academic workers would continue their indefinite strike because government authorities had failed to institute a deal reached between the union and the higher education and highways minister. The five-week strike has brought academic activities to a standstill at some 15 state universities and higher education…

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