Parliament adopts Industrial Disputes Amendment Law

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 06:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday night adopted the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill, one of the four draft labour bills with a majority of thirty-four votes.

116 parliamentarians voted for the bill and 82 against it. Al Tamil political parties represented in parliament for the bill along with the ruling United National Front. The main opposition Peoples Alliance and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna voted against, parliamentary sources said.

Debate on other three labour bills commenced Wednesday in parliament and the vote against them is to be taken the same late in the evening, sources said.

The bills now being debated in parliament are the Termination of Employment of Workmen (Special Provisions Amendment) Bill, the Industrial Disputes (Hearing and Determination of proceedings Special Provisions) Bill and the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children (Amendment) Bill.

The new law would make it mandatory for labour tribunals to settle industrial disputes within four months. An industrial dispute referred to an arbitrator should be settled within two months and a dispute referred to the Labour Department within a month, said the Minister of Labour and Employment Mr.Mahinda Samarasinghe during the debate.

Opposition members argued the new laws would undermine workers rights and give more powers to employers to suppress the voice of the working community.

 

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