The National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) condemned the unwarranted action of the Police and CID in searching the offices of the trade unions that agitated against the abortive Private Sector Pensions Bill (PSPB) at Katunayake.
Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) Anton Marcus brought to the notice of the NLAC and Minister of Labour and Labour Relations Gamini Lokuge that CID officers had entered the zonal office in Katunayake of the FTZGSEU on July 29, rummaged through files and documents and questioned officials who were present.
Marcus told The Island that this intrusion was without a valid search warrant and an attempt by the government to undermine legitimate trade union action. He said that such action cannot be permitted and that the authorities need to be dissuaded from interfering with trade union activities. Minister Lokuge informed the NLAC that he had forwarded the complaint in this regard to IGP N. K. Illangakoon for necessary action.
Marcus said that the FTZGSEU had written to the IGP on August 3 under registered cover about the incidents involving the CID in acts of intimidation and harassment, despite the undertaking before the Supreme Court that the trade unions will not be harassed over the Katunayake incidents.
He said that the FTZGSEU is a member of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) which is a coalition of 26 trade unions in both the public and private sectors. He said that the JTUA wrote to the IGP earlier on June 21 and the letter was acknowledged by ASP Panamaldeniya of the CID on July 28.
Marcus said that he has appealed to IGP Illangakoon to conduct an immediate inquiry and to prevent further acts of intimidation and harassment.