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* All appointments to the National Labor Advisory Council made according to a constitutional system
Thu, May 25, 2023, 01:20 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 24, Colombo: The Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment emphasizes that the members of the National Labor Advisory Council have been appointed from trade unions with large membership and all the appointments are made according to a constitutional system.

The recent non-inclusion of the Free Trade Zones & General Service Employees Union (FTZ&GEU), along with three other trade unions, from the National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC) is a result of the Ministry’s yearly reconstitution process, the Ministry said in a statement.

The NLAC appointments are granted yearly, and memberships expire at the end of each year. The last NLAC was appointed in 2022, and membership expired in 2023, and this was mentioned in the appointment letter.

It was highlighted that the NLAC’s constitution does not allow for trade unions to be selected arbitrarily. Further, the NLAC constitution clearly says that most representative trade unions should be taken.

Accordingly, trade unions with a more extensive membership base are represented. Membership strength is dynamic, and we should provide opportunities for new trade unions that have gained strength during the period.

It is unfair to keep trade unions with the most represented association outside the national forum and trade unions with less representation inside the NLAC. Further, trade unions that were not selected have the opportunity to gain NLAC membership next year if they get enough membership, the statement said.

During the selection process, trade unions were allowed to correct membership errors in January. Some trade unions responded and rectified their membership errors.

FTZ&GEU union should have provided the required details, and therefore membership strength was determined based on contributions.

In the "N" report, an annual return submitted by every trade union to the Department of Labor, some trade unions randomly put no’s and tried to gain membership in the NLAC.

Observing these facts, the Selection Committee recommended calculating membership strength based on the total contribution received by the union from its members.

Accordingly, trade unions were selected based on subscriptions they received from their members. Therefore, only genuine trade unions with the most representatives could gain membership in the NLAC.

It is essential to respect the NLAC’s constitution, which aims to ensure that most representative workers’ voices are heard at the national forum. Selecting trade unions based on reliable data, not arbitrary numbers mentioned in annual returns, is also essential.

Regarding the ongoing public consultations on Labor Law Reforms, a public notice in three leading national newspapers was published in all three languages calling for input from interested parties in labor law reforms.

Accordingly, the following representatives have participated in representing their respective trade unions.

1. Mr. Anton Marcus - Joint Secretary, Free Trade Zone & General Services Employees Union
2. Mr. Leslie Devendra -General Secretary, Sri Lanka Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya
3. Ms. Swastika Arulingam - Deputy General Secretary (Commercial and Industrial Workers Union), United Federation of Labor
4. Mr. Palitha Atukorale - President, National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka
5. Mr. S.P.Nathan - General Secretary, The Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union (CMU)
6. Mr. Peter Almeida - Deputy General Secretary, The Ceylon Mercantile, industrial and General Workers Union (CMU)
7. Mr. Nishantha Wanniarachchi - Ceylon Estates Staffs’ Union
8. Mr. S.v. Liyanaarachchi - Free Trade Zone & General Services Employees Union
9. Mr. U.Chaminda Perera - Assistant General Secretary, Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions
10. Mr. Janaka Adhikari - General Secretary, Inter Company Employees Union
11. Mr. Barath Arullsamy - Assistant Secretary, Ceylon Workers Congress
12. Mr. Mr. Channa Sirinath Dissanayake - President, Ceyion Bank Employees’ Union
13. Mr. Robert Francis- General Secretary, CESU
14. Mr. D.Wijegunaratne - Deputy General Secretary, CESU
15. Mr. S.Murugaiyah - Joint Plantation Trade Union Center

Given the national importance of Labor Law Reforms, the Ministry has organized two more public consultations on the 24th and 31st of May 2023, and the Ministry invited interested parties to participate in making it an inclusive process.


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