Samurdhi trade unions in Sri Lanka warn of union action if Minister fails to address grievances

Aug 31, Colombo: Trade unions affiliated to the Samurdhi programme in Sri Lanka have warned of trade union action if Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa fails to address the grievances of the Samurdhi employees.

They have expressed concern over the job security of Samurdhi employees following the government’s decision to bring the Samurdhi Authority and a few other state institutions under the proposed Divineguma Combined Rural Development Department.

The Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) affiliated Samurdhi Development Officers Union (SDOU) says the decision has resulted in doubts over the Samurdhi employees losing their job security and work benefits like the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF).

SDOU General Secretary Chamara Maddumakaluge observes that the Economic Development Ministry has ignored attempts by the union to discuss the possible issues that would affect the Samurdhi employees.

He says that the union’s observations have been ignored when forming the new department.

There are currently 27,000 Samurdhi employees and doubts have also been cast on the future of the 1,042 branches of the Samurdhi banks.

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