Sri Lanka’s Marxist party affiliated trade unions commence struggle for a wage hike

Aug 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) affiliated National Trade Union Center (NTUC) today commenced the struggle for a Rs. 10,000 wage hike for the working masses by launching an island wide poster campaign.

Head of the NTUC and JVP politburo member K.D. Lalkantha told ColomboPage that the NTUC would carry out a series of campaigns to win its demand for a wage hike for the working masses.

He said that a process has already been initiated to hold discussions with other main trade union organizations including the main opposition United National Party (UNP) affiliated Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) to increase the support base for the workers’ demand.

The NTUC is to hold a leaflet distribution campaign next week, followed by a series of island wide meetings to educate the public about the need for a wage hike and to justify the workers’ right to agitate for the demand.

Lalkantha said the unions would also organize employees to agitate to win the salary hike and that the workers would take to the streets to fight for their demand in a few weeks.

“After holding protests, trade unions would be forced to launch a strike action if the authorities fail to respond to the demand,” he said.

He added that the NTUC would also write to President Mahinda Rajapaksa requesting for an appointment to discuss the wage issue.

However, he said the unions did not have faith that the President would resolve the issue.

“We will ask for a discussion with the President, but we do not think it would yield any results. The workers will have to resort to severe trade union action to win the demand,” Lalkantha said.

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