Bid To Bring FUTA For Unilateral Arbitration
By Indika Sri Aravinda
The government is holding internal discussions to bring striking academics for unilateral arbitration, Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge said.
He said that the Labour Ministry and the Government were vested with powers and responsibilities to intervene at a time when industrial action by unions were having adverse effects on the country.
“We are not giving up our attempts to find solutions simply because the FUTA walked out of meetings,” Lokuge said.
Labour Commissioner Pearl Weerasinghe, says that initially FUTA took part in the meetings, but not now after announcement by the government of potential arbitration action.
“FUTA, the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Higher Education took part in the initial meeting,” he said. In response, Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri of the FUTA said that discussions were being held with Dr P. B. Jayasundera, Treasury Secreatary, and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
“We don’t want to have meetings with the lower rungs of the government. This is a serious matter,” he said. “The worst the government can do is to terminate our services. If they do that, we will accept. Let’s see how they run the universities,” Dr Devasiri said.