- Assert unfair to extend allowance only to public sector workers, when all citizens grapple with same economic crisis
- Moot Govt. to bring a Budget Concessionary Bill if necessary to extend allowance to private sector
- Propose to add Rs. 5,000 allowance to the daily wage of estate workers
- Labour Minister to hold talks with employers, RPCs next week
- All views to go before Cabinet for a final decision
Leading trade union leaders have called on the Government to bring in a Budget Concessionary Bill to extend the Rs. 5,000 allowance to the private sector.
This was suggested during a meeting convened by the Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to discuss the payment of the Rs. 5,000 allowance to the private sector.
SLFP-led Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya President Leslie Devendra appreciated the Minister for taking prompt action to convene a meeting to discuss the matter and to create a level playing field for both State and private-sector workers.
“If the employers do not agree to extend the Rs. 5,000 to private-sector workers, a Budget Concessionary Bill should be brought to ensure and the Rs. 5,000 allowance be given to the private sector as well,” Devendra proposed.
Anton Marcus alleged that employers did not act in good faith and stabbed employees behind their backs, even during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The private sector is considered as the engine of growth and in that context, they must get the Rs. 5,000 allowance brought by the Minister without any discrimination,” Marcus pointed out.
Ceylon National Estate Workers’ Union S. P Vijayakumar proposed that this allowance of Rs. 5,000 should be added to the daily wage of the estate workers.
Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Suranga Naulage suggested that the Labour Minister should intervene to provide this allowance to all members of the private sector, as it is unfair to provide this allowance only to public servants at a time when every citizen is grappling with a serious economic crisis.
The Labour Minister assured the union leaders that he would discuss the matter with the representatives of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and heads of Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs).
“The collective ideas of trade unions, EFC and RPCs will then be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers to decide if the allowance could also be extended to the private sector workers,” de Silva added.
Labour Ministry Secretary Mapa Pathirana, Labour Department Commissioner General Prabhath Chandrakeerthi, trade union representatives Linus Jayatilleke, Palitha Athukorala, S. P Nathan, S.K. Rajamani and Upul Janaka Jayasinghe also joined the discussion.