|Thursday, 27 September 2001|
There is a tendency on the part of some deceptive Managing Directors of companies to be carried away by a sense of self importance, when calculating EPF/ETF contributions and gratuity payments not taking into account an employee's monthly regular earnings. He satisfies himself that a wage earner's monthly basic salary is the unit of reckoning his EPF/ETF contributions and gratuity payments whereas the labour law clearly defines that all regular monthly allowances of an employee except bonus, overtime, rent and travelling allowance only should be exempted from the total earnings mentioned therein.
Also the gratuity act specifies that employees who have completed five years or more of service without a break are entitled to this payment, worked out at half a month of his or her terminal salary, for each year completed.
Irrespective of the legal conditions laid down by the Labour Department some bosses display a proclivity to take the law to their own hands. Then things tend to go haywire and they consider themselves selfishly important. This attitude should be shed for it earns a bad name for the management and comes in for public rebuke. Some of these errant employers tend to be unconcerned about an employee's retirement, his old age and future livelihood and these employers blunder very badly which is a sin that is unpardonable and crying for vengeance. It is my conviction that a stray employer should be taught that there are strict limits to the exercising of their authority over his employees regarding their legitimate dues on retirement.
The Shop and Office Act rules and regulations governing employees are clearly defined and laid down by the Labour Department. Any employer overs stepping these legal bounds is guilty of misuse of his administrative power and should be taken to task by the Labour Department, and redress granted to hapless employees. All employers should think of a better tomorrow for their employees who have sweated for years for them, instead if ill-treatment is meted out, the Department of Labour on call should ponder deeply on how grievances of those affected employees could best be redressed. It is undisputed that disgusted employees sometimes resort to violence when their grievances go unheeded.
Let justice and fairplay prevail always and let not the employer be a bloodthirsty vampire on the verge of retirement of an employee.
M. PEIRIS -Maharagama
Excessive waste of power and piped water continues in spite of longer hours of power cuts and impending water cuts soon, due to some officials and employees of local administrative bodies not taking these issues so seriously into their minds, and perform with much responsibility at a time of crisis.
For instance, most of the early hour travellers along the Galle Face centre road grumbles about street lamps not being switched off even at 7.17 a.m. as witnessed a few days ago. It is the same on other places administrated by Urban Councils where the 'Lighters' fail to turn off street lights before sunrise.
In case of water leaks, it takes about a week for the team of repairmen to arrive and attend to the leaks, besides many residents do not know to whom they should report of water leaks.
As many citizens would gladly assist the local bodies and CMC to cut down on waste of power and water, especially when street lights are not switched off on time, the authorities of the respective administrative area should make an announcement by giving at least two telephone numbers and nominate an understanding officer, to whom the public can inform at any time of the day of such waste.
This can also be done without wasting money or time, by the local authority getting a few sponsors from the business community to print the announcement giving details of phone numbers etc and distribute along with the weekend newspapers sold by the news agent in the respective areas.
NAHEER TAIP -Wattala.
If we think in Sri Lankan context, terrorists are confined to North and East and occasionally operating in other parts of the country.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of terror is extreme fear, person or think that causes terror, a formidable person, troublesome person or thing. According to the same source, the definition of 'terrorist' is a person who uses or favours violent or intimidating methods.
The private bus drivers belong to the second category of 'horn terrorists'. They overtake, take way and show their authority on highways by tooting their very strong horns which emit an unbearable, horrifying and fearsome sound. They do not have a place or situation where they should toot the horn. Any place anywhere is good enough. They are in this habit even in the thick of worst of traffic jams.
It is an irritating sound which made the motorists before them losing the controls of the vehicle and trying to make way for them fearing they will run over you. These type of horns could be used on long vehicles as a signal for an oncoming long vehicle or in the upcountry roads where one to one is not visible due to natural locations.
It is a pity that these environmentally, unfriendly and irritable horns are not prohibited on the vehicles or make it a punishment to use them on urban areas.
J. NAGODAVITHANA -Nugegoda
Most of Government and private sector office workers and others use the "Secretariat Halt" for trains because Minister A. H. M. Fowzie opened it with public addressing equipment (loudspeakers) similar to the Fort Railway Station. And also, the ideal situation of the "Secretariat Halt" is the main reason for the popularity of all.
But, information is not provided even there are loudspeakers to provide information such as what is the next train?Whether the trains coming or not or delayed.
If the next train is delayed, time delayed must be informed to the people who are waiting for trains. Then they can adjust their unfinished programme for the day accordingly.
Because of equipment already fixed for providing information to the people, I believe no extra cost will be incurred. If the authorities prefer the "silence", please continue it. But to avoid the idleness of the "Assets", it is prudence that to donate the "equipment" to the temple in front of the Halt then they will use it properly. -
YASAPALA PONNAMPERUMA -Panadura
According to the DN of Sept 17, the present power cut periods extended into 3 groups: A-B-C and the load shedding schedule will be rotated daily lasting 8 hrs, 7 hrs and 6.30 hrs at staggered times - one in the evenings and the other later after the midnights.
The consumers are to be well advised to check up all the switches, plugs and electric appliances such as A/cs, fridges, washing machines, cookers, kettles, irons, immersion heaters etc etc to avoid major fires and to avoid the damages to these appliances before and after power cuts. The working couple should make note of these precautions before they leave home.
Shopkeepers and factory owners should also take extras care specially during weekends or public holidays.
J. E. VETHANAYAGAM -Moratuwa.
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