May Day messages
pension a proud achievement - President
|The introduction of a pension scheme for the
private sector by a government which has always
upheld the rights of the working class is an
achievement that the entire nation can be proud of,
says President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his May Day
He also says that the government has speeded up the
process of granting due rights to the workers after
winning the war on terrorism.
President Rajapaksa also says in his May Day
message: “I consider it a privilege to be able to
extend greetings to the working class in this
country on this occasion.
“It is with a sense of pride that we recall on this
Day the international recognition we have won as a
country which has implemented in full measure the
covenants of the World Labour Organization. I also
must take this opportunity to extend my grateful
thanks to the working class of this country, whose
productive labour has enabled us to achieve an eight
percent growth rate,
“After defeating terrorism, we have accelerated the
process of granting rights to the working class. Our
being able to introduce a pension scheme for the
private sector as a government that has understood
the aspirations of the working class is a great
achievement that the entire nation can be proud of.
This pension scheme paves the way for a better
future for the workers now contributing to the EPF.
As a person who has fought for the rights of the
workers with great dedication I derive immense joy
from this achievement.
“Action has been taken to increase the quantum of
compensation payable to workmen falling victim to
accidents while on duty. The Workmen’s Compensation
Ordinance has been amended accordingly. We have also
wrapped up draft legislation designed to eliminate
child labour completely. Our women also form an
important segment of our workforce. Therefore, it is
imperative that legislation concerning their rights
and privileges be enacted. This matter is also
receiving the serious attention of the government.”
suppression of working class
|The rights of the working class are being
suppressed on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the people’s
hope of a programme of work that could ensure their
well being has shattered, says Opposition leader
Ranil Wickremesinghe in his May Day message.
Opposition leader Wickremesinghe also says in his
message: “The workers the world over are celebrating
the May Day today with a sense of pride. The
strength and dedication of the working class
constitute the key factor that contributes towards
the progress of the country.
“It appears that the present government is set to
prune the rights of the workers by arbitrarily
taking over the EPF and the ETF through the proposed
new Pension Act.
“No action has been taken to uplift the quality of
living of the estate workers who are undergoing
immense hardship. The increase in the price of wheat
flour and kerosene has dealt a hard blow to them. It
is to be regretted that no action has been taken to
increase their daily wage to cushion this blow.
“The government had promised on a number of
occasions to grant a pay hike to private and public
sector workers and has now gone back on this
promise. Many serious issues relating to the pay and
rights of university teachers have come up. But the
government has no solutions to any of these issues.
“Violation of the rights of workers has become a
daily feature. Meanwhile, people have lost hope of
the government capability of carrying out any
programme that could ensure their well being.
Therefore, I invite the workers to join hands with
us to form a government capable of putting an end to
the suffering of the masses.”