Apropos to the article titled ‘Employers’ Federation slams private sector wage increase’ published in Mirror Business yesterday, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) sent the following clarification.
We write with reference to the above article which has been published in the Late City Edition of Mirror Business, Page 1 of the Daily Mirror newspaper (December 1, 2015) by Shabiya Ali Ahlam.
In the first instance, it is observed that the title of the article is imprecise as the brief discussion with Shabiya Ali Ahlam centred on a question that was posed to the undersigned ‘as to whether the EFC had agreed to the government’s proposal to legislate on a wage increase for the private sector employees’. I confirm having answered the query posed in the negative and that we are principally opposed to such a move. I also went on to explain the reasons for entering into a dialogue as set out in our circular to members 77 of 2015 dated November 23, 2015, as it is incumbent upon us to do so as a policymaker.
As you know the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon is an institution which is reputed for constructive criticism in pursuance of safeguarding the interests of employers as well as the country. Further, we have always endeavoured to solve issues through a healthy dialogue with the government and its authorities in order to ensure that the best interests of all stakeholders are addressed.
Whilst we do concede that the matters that have been reported are consistent with what has been said in the past, it would have been far better if the facts were presented in the context of our circular that was discussed with Shabiya Ali Ahlam when she spoke to me yesterday. In fact, our intention was for the article to carry the latest position as set out in the circular under reference which was circulated amongst our membership (also published in our website www.employers.lk).
Several rounds of discussions have been held with the authorities since our letter addressed to the Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister dated October 20, 2015, and we expect our concerns to be addressed in the finalized legislation as explained in our circular No.77/2015, as well.
In conclusion, we hope that the usual courtesies extended to those interviewed will be extended to us in the future and that the statements attributed to us would be quoted in context, in the interests of constructive criticism.
We hope that you will publish this letter by way of a clarification in order to set the record straight.