The All Ceylon General Port Employees’ Union has urged authorities to take prompt measures and ensure the safety of port workers while the country is under lockdown.
Union members submitted a set of proposals in writing to the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority yesterday, in order to maintain port operations amidst the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to NewsRadio, General Secretary of the Union Niroshan Gorakanage said the Chairman, senior management and other relevant officials must formulate a stringent programme to safeguard the port employees as coronavirus is spreading rapidly with the Colombo Harbour.
He accused the authorities of suspending the conduct of PCR and Rapid Antigen tests.
Niroshan Gorakanage said due to the suspension of tests, healthy and non-infected ports workers are being exposed to the coronavirus.
He noted that there is no mechanism in place to detect and isolate infected individuals.
The General Secretary of the All Ceylon General Port Employees’ Union said there is a serious threat of port operations being compromised, if workers continue to contract the virus.
He said therefore the Colombo Port which is an internationally recognized hub should have a mechanism in place to screen its employees.
Niroshan Gorakanage noted that although curfew has been in place for the past six days, no new measures have been taken to safeguard and provide facilities for Port employees.
He said unions will extend their support to the management to formulate a new programme and ensure the smooth conduct of operations at the Colombo Harbor.
Niroshan Gorakanage said instead of politicizing the matter, authorities must take prompt measures and ensure that the Port can continue its functions even during the current climate.