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Terry Fields

Support Sri Lankan Workers

(August 1980)

From Militant, No. 514, 1 August 1980, p. 12.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Complete banning of the right to strike and a crippling of free trade unions! That’s what the reactionary bosses’ government in Sri Lanka wants.

But hundreds of thousands of workers are still out in a magnificent general strike called by the Joint Trade Union Action Committee [see page 8].

British trade unionists will not stand by and let their brothers in Sri Lanka be ground down and stripped of all democratic trade union rights. Already several trade union general secretaries have sent telegrams of protest to the Sri Lankan government.

The Fire Brigades Union have given moral and financial support to the workers and the Bakers’ Union Executive will take up the matter next week. A deputation from the Labour Party NEC will meet the High Commissioner in London soon.

Meanwhile, dockers, airport workers and Post Office workers are discussing the possibility of blacking Sri Lankan trade. The Merseyside Docks shop stewards’ Executive were due to discuss action this week, and the Post Office Engineers Union members are to propose cutting communications.

Every trade union branch, Labour Party and Young Socialists branch should immediately rush protests against the Sri Lankan government’s anti-union attempts to: Sri Lanka High Commission, 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London W.2.

Messages of support for the union should go to JTUAC c/o United Federation of Labour, 17 Barrack Lane, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka. Please send copies of these messages to Wesley Mutiah, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, London N.13.

Make sure that your national trade union leadership sends a message too! Black all Sri Lankan goods, finance and services for the duration of the general strike!

The government has frozen the funds of the trade unions and seized twelve union headquarters. Financial assistance is desperately needed. Please take collections and rush donations to the United Federation of Labour, c/o Wesley Muthian [address above].

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Last updated: 8 March 2017