Sri Lanka - Economic crisis used as pretext to delay social dialogue or close factories (2010)

According to the Sri Lankan trade unions, many employers have used the economic crisis to take a harder line in collective bargaining. Moreover, workers faced with an employer’s refusal to enter into social dialogue get little support from the authorities. On the contrary, in sectors such as clothing and construction, the authorities favour flexible employment relationships.

According to the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union (FTZ&GSEU) some employers are using the economic crisis as a pretext to close unionised factories. The FTZ&GSEU cites the case of Sinotex Lanka, a clothing factory run by the Hong Kong group Cristal Martin, which closed its two factories in January after 27 years in Sri Lanka without respecting the legislation concerning the compensation to be paid to its 2,500 workers (mainly women).

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