Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.: Respect the Rights of SLT workers
Joint Trade Union Committee
P.O. Box 2293,
Colombo – 01,
18th February 2012
Request for Solidarity Action
We are writing on behalf of the Joint Trade Union Committee of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) seeking your solidarity for a global campaign, that we have commenced against the gross violation of the terms of settlement of the agreement, the Joint Trade Union Committee signed with the SLT management on 2011-08-10.
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) is the leading telecommunication service provider in Sri Lanka. SLT has its origins as a government department which later transformed as a government corporation and then again as a government owned company. Some of its shares have been transferred to private entities during 1990s. However the government of Sri Lanka is the major share holder of the SLT.
During the past period the management of SLT got degenerated to a very poor state which has resulted in decline productivity and efficiency of the organization. Human resource related issues got piled up making employees more and more demoralized. Parallel to this a tragedy, a bureaucratic group emerged within the company and they behave in a manner as if they have the absolute right to discriminate our members within SLT as they wish. For an example under the name of “Transport Allowance” about 180 bureaucrats are receiving, monthly an amount much more than their salaries, while paying a fraction of that amount to our members / other staff.
The background the dispute:
a) The company maintains a highly discriminatory management system
b) They employ about 2000 workmen (about 25% of the entire work force of SLT) on temporary or contract basis, by using ‘SLT Manpower Solution (PVT) Limited’ which itself is a SLT subsidiary company created only to supply cheap labour for SLT operations.
Twenty one (21) trade unions which represent about 90% of SLT workforce (including the SLT Manpower Solution employees) went on a strike for eight days from 2011-08-02 to 2011-08-10. The strike came to an end after SLT management signed an agreement with trade unions, under section 12(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act, (which is the relevant legislation in Sri Lanka) before of the Commissioner of Labour – Industrial Relations.
According to terms of settlement of that agreement SLT management had to implement the terms of settlement within six months, which ended by 10th February 2012. Yet ignoring repeated requests and reminders made by SLT trade unions SLT management not only ignored implementing the conditions laid by settlement agreement but also acted in violation to that agreement.
No need to mention that non-implementation of a settlement agreement signed with trade unions before the Commissioner of Labour is a violation of the IDA, that amounts to an offence, punishable under said Act.
In fact we consider this as an attempt by the SLT management to deceive the trade unions.
Under no circumstance we can allow a management to deceive its trade unions.
Under above circumstance SLT trade unions have no option but to call our members for another trade union campaign to get the settlement agreement implemented. We have already informed the SLT management and the Commissioner of Labour accordingly.
With a view of exerting maximum pressure on the management, we hereby seek your assistance for a global solidarity campaign. You can demonstrate your solidarity by faxing or by emailing solidarity letters to the Chairman of SLT with copies to the authorities whose details are given below. Or, by signing this petition the petition will be sent directly to the following targets:
Mrs. Perl Weerasinghe
Commissioner General Labour
Mr. K.D.M. Priyantha
Labour Commissioner (Industrial Relations)
Mr. Nimal Welgama
Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.
Mr. Greg Young
CEO, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.
Mr. Jayantha Thilakarathne
C.H.R.O., Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.
Mr. Nimal Athukorala
Secretary, Ministry of Telecom & Information Technology
Please send your solidarity letters or sign this petition.
Joint Trade Union Committee,
P.O. Box 2293, Colombo – 01, Sri Lanka.