Crucial labour meeting postponed

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Uditha Jayasinghe

The meeting of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) to discuss a host of employee issues including a 30% salary increase for 450, 000 export processing workers and newly introduced pension scheme by the Budget was postponed yesterday.

A fresh date for the discussion is yet to be given, according to Free Trade Zones and General Service Employees Union President Anton Marcus.  

A combination of trade unions including the Free Trade Zones and General Service Employees Union, Progress Union of Sri Lankan Apparel Workers and Apparel-Industry Labour Rights Movement (ALARM) met the officials of the Board of Investment (BoI) on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possibility of the 30% salary increase. Previously the BOI had held meetings with manufactures of the export processing zones while around 3000 apparel workers in the Katunayake zone demonstrated for the salary increase on Friday (10).

The agreement was for the workers to be given a salary increase of Rs.500 but given the current cost of living this had proved to be inadequate. Marcus added that the three hour meeting on Wednesday (15) concluded with the parties agreeing to present the issue before the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) which is a tripartite panel under the Labour Ministry for deliberation. During the discussions the fate of the pension scheme proposed by the 2011 Budget was also to have come under discussion.