Oil Strike

Over 5000 workers at Ceypetco’s Kolonnawa terminal and its Colombo head office staged a walkout on rumours the government will go ahead with plans to sell off petroleum assets to India’s Bharat petroleum. Over 5000 workers at Ceypetco’s Kolonnawa terminal and its Colombo head office staged a walkout on rumours the government will go ahead with plans to sell off petroleum assets to India’s Bharat petroleum.

Striking workers claim that the government will sign an agreement with Bharat on Friday for a management stake in a Common User Facility that includes 107 of Ceypetco’s filling stations.

Also included in the deal workers say is a takeover of 500 dealer-owned filling stations and a one third stake in the Kolonnawa oil terminal.

“For a government that came in on a no privatisation mantra that is exactly what they are doing. The stake in the terminal and the dealer-owned stations will be an outright sale,” one member of Ceypetco’s Executive Union said.

All of Ceypetco’s five unions are backing the strike, saying that they will continue until the deal is called off.

Sources close to the deal however say that talks on a third player in the sector are at least a month off, with negotiati