Sri Lanka's Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has urged the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to be more stake-holder focused.
Speaking at the annual ILO sessions in Geneva, EFC Director-General Ravi Peiris called on the ILO to be sensitive to peculiarities and vulnerabilities of its member countries. He expressed satisfaction that ILC 2012 was giving due recognition to Freedom and Association and Collective Bargaining, two fundamental standards that the EFC actively engage in on behalf of employers.
Mr Peiris pointed out that the ILO Convention on Freedom of Association clearly recognizes the right of the worker to choose an organization of his choice, whilst the Collective Bargaining Standard clearly recognizes that bargaining between employers and workers was also a voluntary decision.
With regard to these conventions, he said, "We cannot ignore the interests of the most important persons - the worker and the employer". In his comments released by the EFC office in Colombo, Mr Peiris noted that previous over regulation of these standards has resulted in more violations and that the time has come for ‘us’ to look inwardly to address these issues rather than look to impractical regulations that would not bring about solutions.
On Sri Lanka, he said that despite being subjected to external and internal pressures, the private sector has shown great resilience and has been instrumental in driving the Sri Lankan economy to its current position whilst giving due respect and recognition to fundamental labor standards.
He said Sri Lankan employers continue to require a more enabling environment in order to conduct business. "This does not mean a hire and fire regime.
It does mean an environment which will allow flexible working hours, fewer restrictions on employment of women and more attention to productivity and quality." The Director General said that an environment that strikes a balance between efficiency and equity was required for Sri Lankan employers.