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18th March 2015

Private sector expresses concern over truck operators' strike at Colombo Port

Several private sector groups yesterday issued a joint statement on the truck operators strike at the Colombo Port.

The joint statement was issued by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Import Section of the Chamber, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Shippers Council.

Our attention has been drawn to the ongoing strike carried out by the Truck Operators of the Port of Colombo, bringing the import/export cargo clearance to a standstill. We also note that this is the second instance, within the last three months that Truck Operators have resorted to such disruptions, creating immense hardships to the trade and we deplore such irresponsible actions and believe that any disputes should be resolved through discussions.

Taking into view the importance of a smooth functioning of the Colombo Port, which is striving to be the best port in the region, in terms of efficiency, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce together with its affiliates, the Import Section, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Shippers Council, wish to express their deep concern over this unacceptable situation.

We are also very concerned that such interruptions take place when the Port is heading towards handling the seasonal demand and when all efforts are being made by the government as well as the business community to enhance exports, positioning the Port of Colombo as one of the most efficient Ports in South Asia. It is our concerted view that such arbitrary and unacceptable action leading to the disruption of Port operations would not augur well for the positioning of the Port of Colombo.

We strongly urge all parties concerned to understand the enormous impact that a situation of this nature can create to the port operations, which in turn will trigger a logistics dilemma for the Importers and Exporters of the country and act with utmost responsibility.

We urge all concerned to immediately resolve any issues of concern through dialogue and not by resorting to such drastic measures hindering the entire trade and the economy of the country.

Court injunction on Colombo container drivers strike
The Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday issued an injunction against the strike action by the United Lanka Container Owners Association.

This is following the consideration of a motion submitted by the Grandpass Police.

The court issued an interim order against a demonstration staged by the container owners association in Ingurukade Junction, the police stated.

The Association President Udeni Kalutantri said that his organisation had decided to call off the strike following the court order.

Source: DailyFT Article on 18 March 2015
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