Head of the National Trade Union Center (NTUC), K.D. Lalkantha says that people’s power was key to winning workers’ rights as well as to protecting the rights.
Lalkantha’s comment comes when the NTUC has launched a struggle to win a Rs. 10,000 salary increment for the working masses.
Addressing the annual convention of the State Engineering Corporation Trade Union, he said that although the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration enjoyed a two thirds majority in parliament, the government was unable to implement the private sector pension scheme.
Lalkantha said the unions were now demanding a Rs. 10,000 salary hike according to the increase in the cost of living.
“Since January 2006 till June 2011, there has been a Rs. 16,880 increase in the market basket. The public sector has managed to win Rs. 6,436.50 as increments and allowances during this period. Therefore, the working masses need another Rs. 10,443 to afford the increase in the market basket,” he explained.
According to Lalkantha, the struggle to win a salary hike would be successful given that many recent agitations commenced by workers have been a success.