Trade Unions launch nationwide strike today

Wednesday, 8 February 2023 00:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A host of Trade Unions in Sri Lanka will stage a nationwide strike today to voice their dissent against the cash-strapped Government’s new Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax hike.  The agitators will gather at Hyde Park in Colombo this morning for a rally. 

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will launch a 24-hour strike to join the trade union action. The medical officers will refrain from engaging in private channelling practice and regular services other than emergency treatments at hospitals today. 

Speaking to the media, media spokesman of the GMOA Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said they will join the protest as the Government has failed to address the acute drug shortages in hospitals while also imposing an unfair tax hike on the country’s workforce. 

Wijesinghe said the doctor’s strike will commence at 8 a.m. and go on till 8 a.m. tomorrow at all government hospitals excluding maternity, children’s, military, cancer treatment and kidney disease treatment hospitals. He said doctors will also refrain from private practice during the strike period. 

University lecturers will also join in the strike. Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) President Prof. Shyama Banneheka said the President will see the unity of the country’s professionals today through their collective strike action. 

Meanwhile, the trade unions of the Sri Lanka Water Board, Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Sri Lanka Port Authority will also launch a strike today and hold a rally in Colombo Fort to voice their dissent against the tax hike.