Trade unions will hold their joint May Day rally as usual on May 1, the Joint Trade Union (JTU) said condemning the government’s decision to reschedule the rally to May 7.
In a statement, JTU Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said the government had not even discussed postponing the May Day with the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) prior to arriving at the decision.
“It was back in 1956 that the May Day was declared a public, bank and mercantile holiday. After 62 years, the Yahapalana Government issued a gazette notification declaring this day as a working day. The government says it arrived at this decision to ensure Buddhist religious activities are observed calmly during the Vesak week. However, the Colombo Municipal Council has not granted permission for May Day rallies to be held in public parks on May 1. The government has achieved an indirect ban on all May Day celebrations in Colombo. All these decisions fall in line with a businessman, who joined the national list on the UNP ticket, being appointed as the Acting Minister of Labour and Labour Relations. Nevertheless, we will proceed to hold our joint rally on May 1,” he said.
The JTU consists of trade unions attached to the bank, trade, postal, telecommunication, estate staff, teachers, insurance and industrial sectors. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)