UNP trade unions yesterday (08) met the PM and told him that Ranatunga was provoking port workers into stage protests against the government.
The subject minister has opposed plans to handover the H’tota port to a Chinese firm and to allocate 15,000 acres as a free trade zone.
TUs have told the premier that Ranatunga was angry with him as he had been overlooked when the PM toured China for related discussions.
He is now telling port workers the H’tota port will be privatized and provoking them into strikes, they charged.
Ranatunga supported Maithripala Sirisena in his presidential election campaign, but contested the last general election on the UNP ticket.
The president has reportedly given him the port subject on a request by ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga.