Garment workers in Sri Lanka face union busting

23 July 2007 - 7:14pm

The Star Garments factory in Sri Lanka has this month (July 2007) stepped up its anti trade union behaviour. In the past, factory owners have bribed workers to leave the union and victimised, intimidated or demoted employees who had gone on strike. Workers - including one pregnant woman - have been denied access to drinking water inside the factory.

On 5 July 2007, management rounded up striking workers in their homes and forced them to report to the factory. Two days later, five union organisers were arrested for carrying union leaflets. Management later forcibly took union leaflets from workers inside the factory. One week later the branch union's treasurer received two death threats.

The Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union, our partner organisation in Sri Lanka, met with the managing Director of Star Garments in June and he agreed publicly to stop all anti union activities. Clearly this has not happened.

We are calling for all anti trade union activities to stop at once at the Star Garments Factories. It is absolutely essential that trade union rights are protected, as this is the main recourse for workers when they face the systematic labour rights violations.


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