Written by Staff Writer
29 Apr, 2014 | 10:00 pm
The 125th International Labour Day will be commemorated on Thursday.
Various political parties and labour organizations are making the final preparations for their respective May Day rallies.
Let us take a look at some of the views that were expressed at separate media briefings convened on Tuesday, in lieu of May Day.
Minister of Labour and Labour Relations, Gamini Lokuge:
[quote]With the exception of the Army, it was the working people that were worst affected and saw the greatest loss of life during the thirty-year long war. This year, the wages of all administrative councils have been increased by 30 to 40 percent. Agreements are reached through collective bargaining as one unit. As a result, today, we do not see strikes at any of the major companies. Annually, the trade union leaders, the ruling party and our Ministry hold discussions and reach final agreements. We work according to this system.[/quote]
General Secretary of the Central Council of Ceylon Trade Unions, Somaweera Chandrasiri:
[quote]We will commemorate May Day this year under theme, Protect Freedom – Protect the Motherland. In many countries today, workers are being shown the door at their workplaces. They are deprived of labour rights. The public service is being cutback. In such a period we have established freedom in this country.[/quote]
Leader of Nava Sama Samaja Party, Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne:
[quote]During our May Day commemoration, we will primarily highlight the problems posed to the freedom of our country as a result of the influences of global capitalism. Our country is in a state of economic slavery and is caught in a political trap. On the other hand, we stand for the unity of the country through the devolution of power. We can see that a major problem has arisen in this country as a result of this government abandoning or suppressing this factor.[/quote]
UNP Parliamentarian, Joseph Michael Perera:
[quote]On this May Day, I must remind you that we first commemorated May Day in Kurunegala. This time around we have decided to commemorate May Day which will be commemorated across Sri Lanka, on the 1st, at 2 p.m in Ampara. We have made preparations to gather party supporters and commemorate May Day, covering the Ampara, Moneragala and Badulla districts.[/quote]
UNP Parliamentarian, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam:
[quote]This government has the ability to grant tax holidays to establish casino enterprises and to allocate money for various other matters. They have the ability to build harbours where ships do not come. This government is able to obtain loans and build airports where there are no aeroplanes and to place burden upon burden on the people. This government has no plan and no vision. This government is unable to increase the people’s wages.[/quote]
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