Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminars in Sri Lanka

JILAF held two industrial relations and labour policy seminars in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in October jointly with the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), the trade union national centers in that country. The CWC seminar was held on October 13–14 and the NTUF seminar on October 16–17. Each seminar was attended by 25 central and regional trade union leaders. It was the first time for JILAF to hold a field project together with the NTUF.

The theme of the seminars was the role of trade unions in an age of globalization. Speakers from trade unions, the government, and an employers’ organization (CWC seminar only) gave opinions from their various standpoints on the impact of globalization, countermeasures, and other issues.

JILAF delivered a lecture titled “The Improvement of Employment and Living Conditions through Establishment of Constructive Industrial Relations.” After describing the changes surrounding workers brought about by globalization, the JILAF speaker explained that the history and experience of labour-management relations in Japan would be useful for the stability of labour-management relations in Asian countries and emphasized the importance, among other things, of (1) basic organization management based on revenue from union dues; (2) unionization and organization expansion, including informal-sector workers; (3) the rallying of national center organizations and the labour movement; and (4) gaining sympathy for the movement from society and union members. The participants asked questions about such issues as the relationship between RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and politics and political parties and the effectiveness of Japanese-style labour-management relations in an age of globalization. Information and understanding was shared in an interactive format.

In the other lectures, speakers from trade unions and an employers’ organization talked about issues in the age of globalization from their various perspectives and stressed the importance of mutually constructive industrial relations.

In addition, speakers from the International Labour Organization and the government gave lectures covering such topics as the desirable form of labour-management relations and labour policy in response to globalization and the role of trade union officials in the building of labour-management relations.

Toward the end of the seminars, group discussions took place on such themes as “specific action toward the improvement and strengthening of labour-management relations,” and finally the groups shared their specific action plans.


10/13SunMeeting with the CWC
10/14MonCWC seminar 1st day
10/15TueCWC seminar 2nd day
10/16WedMeeting with the NTUF
10/17ThuNTUF seminar 1st day
10/18FriNTUF seminar 2nd day

Photos of the Participants

Opening ceremony of the NTUF seminar

Group discussions (NTUF seminar)

Group presentation (CWC seminar)