Pay hike for private sector
COLOMBO: The Government yesterday announced a 15-43 per cent
pay hike for private sector employees with retrospective effect from
Addressing the media in Colombo, Labour Relations and Manpower
Minister Athauda Seneviratne said the salary increase, which has already
been gazetted, will be adopted by 40 out of the 43 Wages Boards in the
“Since March this year, the Government had a series of discussions
with private sector employers and trade unions on increasing the
salaries of their employees in line with the rise in cost of living. It
is as a result of these tri-partite discussions that we could deliver
this pay hike to the private sector,” he said.
According to the Labour Department, the pay hike will apply to all
private sector trades, including the textile manufacture, tea export and
retail and wholesale trade, except those governed by Collective
Agreements like the plantation sector.
“It will effect a minimum 15 per cent increase in the salary of lower
grade employees while the hike will be 43 per cent or more for higher
The Minister recalled that private sector wages were increased in
2006 too by Rs. 1,000, while in 2007, a minimum wage of Rs.5,000 was
stipulated for the first time for all grades in every trade.
“Around 3.5 million private sector employees benefited from these
measures since it is based on the basic salary that their EPF and other
superannuation benefits are calculated,” he said.
Commenting on tomorrow’s islandwide token strike contemplated by
certain trade unions, Seneviratne pointed out that the Government was
mulling a salary hike for the private sector long before trade unions of
the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the United National Party brought the
issue to the fore.
“This strike is a manifestation of political hypocrisy. “That is why
JVP MP Lalkantha did not participate in the public sector trade unions’
discussion with the President.
He knew that if he did, they would have had to agree to the Rs. 1,000
salary increase. Today, they have abandoned their demand for a Rs. 5,000
pay hike and call upon the Government to do take a host of irrelevant
measures to refrain from the strike.
It is the responsibility of our workers to understand these double
standards,” he said.