TUs blast govt. over selection of delegates for ILO conference

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Public sector trade unions yesterday hit out at the government over the selection procedure it had adopted in picking trade union representatives to attend the International Labour Organisation’s annual conference in Geneva from May 30 to June 15.

General Secretary of the Public Services Trade Union Confederation Saman Rathnapriya told The Island that this time too the government had selected only six trade union representatives attached to political parties.

"It was in violation of the ILO guidelines," he said adding that according to the guidelines it should be attended by representatives from trade unions which have large memberships.

The Labour Ministry selected Lesley Devendra from the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (SLFP), Suranga Naula from the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (UNP), a member from the Ceylon Workers’ Congress, M. D. R. Rashdeen from the Lanka Kamkaru Samithi Sammelanaya (LSSP), D. W. Subasinghe from the Lanka Trade Union Federation (CPSL) and Wasanth Samarasinghe from the Inter Company Employees’ Union (JVP) to attend the this year’s ILO conference.

Rathnapriya said that this also happened in 2008 and they complained about it to the ILO. The ILO informed the government to adopt a proper procedure for selecting representatives to attend the conferences. "However, the government has again violated the procedure," he said.

The trade unionist said that according to the government’s selection, there was no one from the public sector trade unions in the delegation to attend ILO conference.

As the public sector trade unions collective, they would ask the government to clear this at least next time and this time too they would complain to the ILO, Rathnapriya said.

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