The Arbitration Council, an independent labour dispute mediator, received a three-year, $700,000 grant from American development agency USAID at a ceremony yesterday that lauded the organisation’s role in managing industrial relations, but raised concerns about its long-term funding.
In Khemara, deputy director general at the Ministry of Labour’s general labour department, said the council had to date mediated some 2,275 cases and helped “balance social stability and workers’ right to strike”.
However, Khemara said the council’s “funds are limited and still far from sufficient for a state institution’s needs in the future”.
Men Nimmith, acting executive director of the Arbitration Council Foundation, told the Post that USAID funds a little under half of the its budget.
“To contribute to the sustainability of the council, the Ministry [of Labour] worked hard to seek national budget, though [it is] still limited.”
USAID official April O’Neill said the new grant would contribute to running the Council’s usual activities, along with raising awareness.