Trade Unions and Their Impact on Productivity: A Review of Sri Lankan Context from 1995 to 2015


  • Kusalakumara Jayendra Fernando DBA Student Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies, University of Kelaniya


There are many factors that cause trade union actions such as problems related to organizational culture, management and administrative issues, problems related to working conditions, demand for higher salaries and other benefits by the employees and political influences. As a result of these trade union actions, lots of working hours may lose and it could badly affect the productivity of the organization. This study was conducted with a view to make a review on trade unions and their impact on productivity in Sri Lankan context for the period of years 1995-2015. 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka recognizes Freedom of Association and Freedom to join and form trade unions as fundamental rights of every citizen of Sri Lanka. Industrial Disputes act (No. 43 of 1950) of Sri Lanka states different methods to resolve Industrial disputes such as Collective agreements, Conciliation, and Arbitration. According to the statistics of Labour Department of Sri Lanka, many industrial disputes occurred in the period of 1995-2015 and government intervened to settle many of them. Thousands of employees involved in those industrial disputes and plenty of man days lost as a result on annual basis during the period of 1995-2015. Therefore the author came to the conclusion that industrial disputes impacted a lot in a negative way for the productivity of labour force in Sri Lanka and hence it affected badly for the economy of Sri Lanka during the period of 1995-2015.

Key Words: Trade Unions, Industrial Disputes, Productivity