800 Tamil workers organised
Union membership is now 100 percent in two of the five factories organised under the UnionAID Sri Lankan partnership project with the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSE). When the civil war in Sri Lanka ended, garment factories were set up in the north and east of the country to take advantage of the cheap labour and in response to the government’s intention to establish Free Trade Zones there. Under our project, a branch office has been established and two organisers, Ms Sody and Mr Ramachandran, appointed. Their success in managing unlawful dismissals or termination of jobs, failure to pay wages or overtime, and ethnic discrimination, has seen a rapid growth in union membership among the mainly female workforce.