Sri Lanka’s port reaches 3-year wage deal with unions

April 10, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main port has struck a 3-year agreement with trade unions to raise the minimum monthly salary by 3,000 rupees, a senior official said Tuesday. The dispute dragged on for over ten days as the government said port workers are some of the better paid employees in the public sector, with a crane driver earning around 1,000 dollars or 100,000 rupees a month.

However two interim allowances amounting to 2,250 would be taken off.

“We have come to agreement with 29 trade unions to fix the minimum wage at 3,000 rupees together with a minimum increment of 200 rupees besides a range of other benefits including a group medical insurance,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman, Saliya Wickremasuriya said.

The three-year collective agreement, also spells out a procedure for maintaining industrial peace, and includes proposals for a modern performance-based salary structure, Wickremasuriya said.

“For the first time, port workers will get a chance to participate in a remuneration system that is linked to the institutions’ profitability.”

The remuneration package comes into effect from January 1, 2006 and authorities have promi