22 November, 2019

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Labour Law Reform Proposals 2015; A Trojan Horse Of The Employers: CFL

The proposals for reform of labor laws of the country is a Trojan horse of the Employers, says the Ceylon Federation of Labour.

Issuing a statement the CFL today said; “the National Workers Charter reaffirmed Sri Lankan’s commitment to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Declaration of Philadelphia and to the Conventions and Recommendations of the ILO. The CFL is of the firm opinion that any reform of labour law should be contemplated within this framework and no other. The CFL shall oppose with whatever mean available to it any and all attempts to dismantle the existing labour law regime that gives some measure of protection to our workers who have to work to live on a periodic wage.”

SRI_LANKA_LABOUR colombotelegraphWe publish below the statement in full;

The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) is aware of proposals for reform of labor laws of the country prepared by a team of former Supreme Court Judges with willing collaborators from the trade unions and other so-called technical experts who have all had the support of the ILO in this exercise.

The CFL categorically state that the entire process that entailed the procedure that was followed in formulating the proposals is much flawed in that the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), a tripartite body responsible to attend to such tasks has had no intimation of this aspect of the project of the ILO. It is our firm belief that an international body such as the ILO built on the principles of tripartism would not venture into such an exercise without the expressed request from either the government, the employer or trade union. From the invitation letter sent by the Ministry of Labour convening the workshop held on 2nd November it is clear that the matter of labour reforms has been hatched as far back as 2010 gathering momentum in March 2015. How come this subject never been mentioned in the deliberations of the NLAC all these years?

Taken as a whole the 44 page document titled: Recommendations for Labour Reforms dated the 02nd November 2015 is much employer driven and important trade unions’ proposals for reform submitted to the authorities over the years for the full implementation of ILO Conventions ratified by Sri Lanka that concern Industrial Relations, Terms and Conditions of Service, Wages, Social Security etc. have all been ignored. In the considered view of the CFL the reform project has served as a convenient vehicle to smuggle in the employers’ Trojan horse – innocuously titled Draft Workplace Cooperation Act embedded with legal sanctions for employer prerogatives and the Terminations of Employment Act (TEWA) which the employers were baying for some decades.

We view with disfavour any attempt by the government or the employers to deviate from the State Labour Policy as contained in the National Workers Charter that received the unanimous approval of the National Labour Advisory Council and which was promulgated as State Labour Policy by HE President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on 02nd September 1995.

The National Workers Charter reaffirmed Sri Lankan’s commitment to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Declaration of Philadelphia and to the Conventions and Recommendations of the ILO. The CFL is of the firm opinion that any reform of labour law should be contemplated within this framework and no other. The CFL shall oppose with whatever mean available to it any and all attempts to dismantle the existing labour law regime that gives some measure of protection to our workers who have to work to live on a periodic wage.

Related posts;

ILO Accused Of Supporting Govt’s Secret Labour Law Reforms

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    If the labour laws are not reformed , employees will continue to hide behind the draconian laws that protect them to the point they continue to become lazy, lack initiative and innovation and commitment. We are a country that believes we should be well paid by companies and corporations irrespective of how companies perform. Other than for the Board of Directors no employee becomes accountable for a company’s failure. However if a company is successful there will many to claim it was them who made it happen.

    Sri Lanka has to reform its labour laws if it is to attract foreign investment. Employees have to be made directly accountable for their performance and should be sacked with one month pay only. If we do this you will see Sri Lanka becoming more productive and accountable overnight.

    I am an employee too but what has to be done has to be done!

  • 0
    2

    CFL is looking at it with one. They are silent to the serious abuse of labour laws in this country in regards to workers in the private sector. There are workers who work from 10 am to 7 am and 8 pm 7 days a week, without overtime in the backyard of CFL. Shame on you fellows. Please jump into the sea. The private sector is corrupt protected by officials of CFL. Wake up from your slumber and find out for yourselves the exploitation of labour.

  • 1
    0

    There should be worker directors on all boards both private nd public. There has to be productivity assesments on all organisationa. Incentive schems and profit sharing should bee the norm as wellas housing loans. Standard beurua should step in to ensure quality on incentive schems. Minimise scrap and rework. Workers should have leeway on standard time to improve menthods ansd time. Worker traaining should be carried out. Self actualisation should take place in working methods and workers not treated as robots.Workers should buy shares or ownership in goverment organisation.
    Workers and empleyers should make sacrifices for the Nation.

  • 0
    1

    CFL is run by people who are in the pay book of the big private sector companies. So they follow their dictate. Unlike most of the private sector is corrupt. They us their staff to bribe various sectors to obtain business including government contracts. The wheeler dealers are behind the CFL and the CFL is willing to go the extra mile to protect their misdeeds by trampling the rights of workers. There were instances where some Blue Chips were taken to court for bribery. One set of rules for directors and another set for the workers. Much of the private sector has not been given the salary increase as directed by the government earlier this year. Very senior lawyer on TV talk show Face The Nation referred to corruption of private sector many times. How true.

  • 1
    0

    First of all Sri Lanka’s minimum wage should be raised to reasonable amount(with the current Rs.7500 PM even a single person can’t survive a month,how can a typical family of 4?)And should be implemented and monitored effectively.

  • 0
    0

    labour reform should be considered as the no 1 priority.mahinda did not do it and paid the penalty and this government too would fall if it does not do it.

    when it comes to pay and productivity and flexibility of wage determination and also employer employee relations we are okay,but the worry is in the area of hiring and firing where we are ranked 117 out of 140 countries.No wonder the mahinda govt was looking up at the sky and waiting for the FDI.Who will come and invest their capital into this country when they can go to so many others where they don’t have to worry about firing an employee and so can hire as many as they like.

    Another area of concern is the redundancy costs where we are ranked 136 out of 140.Investors will get the shits when they see how much they have to fork out in case they have to close up or reorganize their businesses.

    Female participation of the workforce is also horrible,where we are ranked 126 out of 140.That means 50% of potential workforce is lost to the country.

    The capacity to attract talent from other countries is dismal ranked 114.Not only that,retaining talent is also difficult ranked 75.If we are to progress technlogically and innovatively we have to be able to get down people from abroad and also see that our skilled personnel dont leave us.

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