Trade unionists urge ITF to secure IMF loan for Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Trade unionists urge ITF to secure IMF loan for Sri Lanka

29 January, 2023
Leslie Devendra-Palitha Atukorale
Leslie Devendra-Palitha Atukorale

Two top trade unionists yesterday urged a global organisation to persuade the IMF to release the US$ 2.9 billion sought by the Sri Lankan Government to cushion the hardships that has been forced on the common masses.

In a letter to the London-based International Transport workers’ Federation (ITF), Leslie Devendra, General Secretary of the ITF Sri Lanka Council and Palitha Atukorale, President of the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS) has stressed the urgent need of for assistance for the Sri Lankan people.

“It is hoped that the ITF which has sitting members in several parliaments across Europe and has connections with many governments would use its influence towards this end”, Atukorale said.

The ITF is a global trade union with some 18 million members in 176 countries including Sri Lanka. The ITF has also been informed that the present economic crisis has been caused by corrupt governments ever since the country gained independence from the British 75 years ago and end of the day it is the common masses including thousands of workers that have been affected.

‘A large number of workers that includes many thousands of contract and temporary hands have been terminated and they are finding it hard pressed to upkeep themselves and their families. Any further collapse of the Sri Lankan economy will only result in more suffering of the innocent masses’ the ITF has been informed.

The Government is currently mid way in discussions with the IMF to secure the US$ 2.9 billion bailout package and is optimistic of positive results in the months ahead.