ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday June 08, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 54
Financial Times  

Hotels oppose wage hike

By Bandula Sirimanna

The National Labour Advisory Council, a tripartite body comprising representatives of the state, trade unions and employers, has agreed to raise the wages of private sector employees amidst the rising cost of living but tourist hotels are opposed to the move.

Deputy Director General of the Employers Federation Kanishka Weerasinghe said the council held 27 daily meetings and had arrived at a consensus on this matter in consultation with commissioners of 42 wages boards. He added that the proposal of the council to increase wages has been published in newspapers calling for submissions or any objections from the private sector on or before June 13.

The hospitality industry badly hit by the country’s security situation, says it will make representations and raise objections over the proposed wage hike as they find it difficult to pay the salaries of 60,000 employees working in tourist hotels. Vice President of Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Srilal Miththapala said that the livelihood of 180,000 indirect employees in the hotel sector has also been affected to a great extent due to the current grave situation in the tourism industry.

While only 16% of the country's labour force is employed in the public sector, 63% is engaged by the private sector. Statistics reveal that the salaries of the public sector employees have seen a positive increase while the private sector employees' wages have seen a negative growth in the recent past.


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