False Alarm

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation trade unions say they will not go on strike over a new refinery project, pending a meeting with Premier Mahinda Rajapakse. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation trade unions say they will not go on strike over a new refinery project, pending a meeting with Premier Mahinda Rajapakse.

“We objected because we were not fully aware of all the details of the project. We met the Prime Minister on Monday and he said he would arrange a meeting to clarify the situation,” Lakshaman Ananda, Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya said on Wednesday.

“We have no plans to go on any strike action at the moment but will wait for the meeting with the Prime Minister.”

Trade unions at the state oil giant were threatening strike action over a deal with a US based company to shore up existing refinery capacity at Sapugaskanda.

The government is to sign a deal with US based Global Energy Industrial Operations to up refinery capacity to 150,000 barrels, with Cabinet approval granted last week.

In the newly minted deal, the company will finance the US$ 800 mn refinery project and manage it for a 30 year period before transferring it b