Power Struggle

Ceylon Electricity Board trade unions were to meet late Monday for crucial talks on restructuring the state owned power utility ahead of a donor deadline on Wednesday. Ceylon Electricity Board trade unions were to meet late Monday for crucial talks on restructuring the state owned power utility ahead of a donor deadline on Wednesday.

The unions have met with the government and donors 17 times in the past month, in attempts to defuse tensions and thrash out a negotiated deal.

The restructuring plan is now taking some shape, officials and unions say.

Unions have opposed plans and threatened blackouts if the state goes ahead with moves to break up the CEB into independent companies for generation, transmission and distribution.

Unions called off their strike action last month after the government agreed not to break up the CEB but consider alternative proposals.

Areas of dispute still include forming registered companies under the CEB or the more watered down Strategic Business Units (SBU) mooted by unions, a spokesperson for one of the trade unions said Monday.

“The plan is taking some shape but what is remaining is to agree on whether to form