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Social Dialogue & Workplace Co-operation Unit

Establishment of the Social Dialogue & Work Place Coperation Unit

Social Dialogue And Work Place Cooperation unit established under the restructuring programme of the industrial relations division. 

With a view to :-

a.) Introducing & implementation of policies & strategies to encourage Social Dialogue, 

Collective Bargaining & reaching collective agreements at Work Place (Enterprise) level.

b.) Planning & Implementation of training programmes, Workshops & Seminars

on promotions  Social Dialogue And Work Place Coperation.

c.) Coordinating with trade unions & employers in promoting Social Dialogue &  

Collective Agreements.

d.) Working as a facilitator in Social Dialogue & reaching Collective Agreements.

e.) Minimize  Industrial Disputes.


This unit is functioning under the Super Vision of Commissioner of Labour Industrial Relations.  It consists of two Assistant Commissioners and four Human Recourse Development Officers and office staff. They were exposed to several training programmes on the subject matter.


National and international markets are becoming increasingly competitive due to globalization and free trade. The need for adaptability and speed to respond to the changing market conditions require employers and employees to strive together to survive in the competitive market.  Thus, the need for cooperation and collaboration among the social partners (employers/employers organizations, employers/ employees organizations and Government) has an urgent necessity.  To meet this situation.  Individual enterprises are compelled to adopt new approaches in the way they operate.  A major aspects of this approaches was the recognition of the importance of effective labour management relations at enterprise level which contributes most in bringing benefits such as increased efficiency, higher productivity, reduce conflicts and labour disputes, increased job satisfaction, increased co-decision making on matters of mutual concern, increased motivation of workers as well as the managers.  

In this backdrop, many countries in the world, developed and developing, have given much attention in improving industrial relations in workplaces, by improving the dialogue and cooperation between workers and managers.

Free trade and open economy, the main feature of globalization has resulted in a rapid growth of the private sector.  This situation has further been escalated in Sri Lanka with the privatization of government owned businesses during the past two and a half decades.  After 25 years of open economic system, private sector has emerged as the engine of growth of the economy.  It is therefore necessary to keep this engine running smoothly to keep the momentum of economic progress of the country.  Thus, industrial relations based on workplaces cooperation has become matter of national importance and good labour relations itself has become an important development strategy.


Dialogue is conversation or discussion takes place among two or more parties. Social dialogue is not merely conversation but a discussion seeking consensus and harmony among social partners; a discussion aimed at fulfilling a certain objective or to achieve a goal; a dialogue that bring mutual understanding and harmony as the final outcome ends in a solution and makes the parties happy.

Dialogue differs from debate; one party attempt to demean or defeat the argumentpresented by the other party.  In doing so, the parties ridicule, threaten, scorn, and throw insults at each other which ultimately results in polarization of the parties and distancing them from reaching solution or settlement to the debated matter.

Programmes : Enterprise Level


eg: Garment manufacture Trade, Engineering Trade, Estate etc.

Advisory Councils – Functioning in every district labour office. We conduct 

above programmes. Island wide in private sector and semi government



This unit conduct several programme on “Social dialogue and workplace co-operation and productivity” in Enterprise level, sectoral.(eg. Garment, Enggineering, Estates etc.)

We conduct above programmes Island wide in private sector and semi Government Establishments. We conduct lectures, short films, and workshops by using multi media system, Leaflets in our programmes.

The tripartite consultative mechanism established to provide for consultation & co-operation between the government and the organizations of workers and employers at the district level. On matters relating to labour matters known as “District Labour Advisory Council”. For further details about programmes contact our unit


Address : 6th Floor,

Labour Secretariat,

Colombo 05.

Telephone Number : 0112586313/ 0112500065

Fax : 0112586313

E.Mail : dolsocial@sltnet.lk

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:58