Trade unions have objected to the Bar Association (BASL) for extending its support to a government plan to amend labour laws to favour employers.
Joint secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union Anton Marcus has written to the BASL after its labour law consultant Kanishka Weerasinghe attended a meeting by the labour minister for selected invitees on May 10 purportedly to obtain ‘views of the public’.
The one-time director general of the Employers’ Federation, lawyer Weerasinghe greatly appreciated the minister’s effort and assured the BASL’s fullest legal support to formulate a combined labour law system, Marcus quoted media reports as saying.
He described this government attempt without TU involvement and devoid of democracy or transparency as an implementation of IMF conditions.
Three TUs affiliated to government parties out of 14 TUs representative of the National Labour Advisory Council were the only TUs in attendance at this meeting, he noted.
Posing a number of questions for the BASL to answer, Marcus wrote to BASL president Kaushalya Nawaratne asking him to correct the related media reports immediately for the sake of more than eight million workforce in the private and the semi-government sectors.