The government makes maximum efforts to ease economic difficulties in the next few months. -Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena says that since the government has applied the best possible effort to the economy, it is expected that the country’s most difficult period will be eased within the next few months.

The Prime Minister mentioned this while addressing the 77th anniversary meeting of the All Ceylon Harbour and Dock Workers Union in Colombo on 01.11.2022.

The Prime Minister further commented that the Harbour and Dock Workers Union has made an unparalleled contribution to the process of adding something new to the labour regulations, judicial regulations and parliamentary regulations for the sake of the working people.

“The battles that started in 1946 led to a unique revolution. With everyone’s support, everything started to change due to the actions taken by other fraternal trade unions. This kind of history is not being written for trade unions today. It is not properly established. These rights were won through difficult periods. The eight-hour working day, overtime allowances, pensions, health insurance, facilities at the workplaces were won through battles”.

In 1958, the port was nationalized with the intervention of Mr. Philip Gunawardena. As a port, the construction of the first advanced port in our country began. Lately, the Harbour and Dock Union has been able to bring our port to a leading position in the world with the amalgamation of new workers union. They were able to do it because of the collective effort of the people who worked at the port.

When a large number of employees who were working according to various rules and regulations had to leave at the time it become an authority, all Ceylon Harbour and Dock Workers’ Union held long discussions with the former rulers to remove unfavorable parts from the Act and changes could be made before the Act was passed to become a Port Authority. At that time, I was a single member of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna in Parliament. Although we were in the opposition, we were able to win that battle that day with everyone’s support.

Today, a union entering its seventy-seventh year is very rare in Sri Lanka’s history of trade unions. It is because we stood for their sufferings as well as for justice and fairness. This association is alive and well in practice today because it did not stand for favouritism but for the fact that politically right or wrong.

We have faced a very difficult period recently. Even during the pandemic the port functioned. Our brothers continued the service with great care and that is on behalf of our country.

The current government has applied the maximum possible strength to the economy. The most difficult period of the country will be eased within the next few months. For that, the whole country should make a great effort together.

Yadamini Gunawardena (MP), Tissa Yapa Attorney- at- Law and the Chief Secretary of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, and other members participated in this event.