Sri Lanka labour productivity makes marginal gains in 1H 2019, bigger strikes at lower frequency

Fifty percent of the man days lost to strikes were from the plantation industry.

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s labour productivity made marginal gains in the first six months of 2019 compared to a year earlier, while there were bigger strikes, the central bank said.

Productivity, in terms of gross value added per hour worked grew 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 500.91 rupees, a central bank report said.

Labour productivity in agriculture grew, while in industries, there was a decline.

Services sector labour productivity remained the same during the period, the central bank said.

Labour productivity in the services sector was the highest at 600.09 rupees per hour worked, while in industries it was 530.80 rupees per hour worked and 191.61 rupees in agriculture.

Meanwhile, the central bank said that while there was a decline in the number of strikes in private industries to 15, there was a growth in the number of workers striking and man days lost to strikes.

Sri Lanka lost 30,696 man-days due to strikes in the first half of 2019 compared to 18,840 days a year earlier.

Fifty percent of the man days lost were in the plantation industry, which was an increase, even though less workers took part in less strikes, the central bank said.

There were prolonged strikes in some plantations in early 2019 calling for a minimum wage of 1,000 rupees, from the then existing 500 rupees.

The central bank also said that public sector strikes in health, customs, postal and transportation sectors may have hit the daily lives of the general public and affected social and economic activities of the country. (Colombo/Nov1/2019)

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