EU team on fact finding visit
By Leon Berenger
A seven-member team, made up by top trade union representatives and industry watchers, based in the European Union, is set to visit the country in early January on a fact-finding mission, that will take them inside the country's export industrial zones to ascertain the rights and the working conditions of employees.
The visit comes shortly after the Sri Lankan case to regain the GSP+ trade concessions was taken up for review by the EU in Brussels earlier this month.
During the sessions in Brussels several trade unions had lobbied hard to include the 'rights of the worker' in the EU agenda prior to approving the GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka.
"Right along the EU had been insisting the Lanka addresses human rights issues but there were little mention on the fundamental rights of the workers.
Therefore, we urged our counterparts in the European bloc to campaign on behalf of the worker within the EU that was reviewing Sri Lanka's case to regain the trade concessions.
It is in this backdrop that the delegation will be arriving in the country for a 10-day fact finding mission where they will be able to meet both the employers and the employees, local trade union activists and government representatives", Palitha Athukorale, Secretary of the Industrial Sri Lankan Council told Ceylon Today.
He warned that the country is slipping into a new anti-union era especially in the Free Trade Zones and manufacturing sector following the change of regime in January 2015 that seems to have strengthened the employers politically.
Furthermore, he said that manufacturers have direct access to the government and thus have the advantage of influencing labour and industrial policy.
"The increased use of contract labour through supplying agencies has led to a serious factor in destabilizing trade unions while there is open hostility by employers against trade unions.
It is with these concerns and many more that we organized this fact finding mission to the country so that they could get a firsthand knowledge", Athukorale said.
He added that the group will make their findings known to the EU in Brussels for necessary follow up action.
"We are not against Sri Lanka regaining the GSP+ trade concessions but the multiple issues by the local workers must be addressed in a fair manner.
This is a fair request and it is hoped that the workers too will be granted some concessions", Athukorale further added.
- China to provide 90 water bowsers worth Rs 1b 2498
- Wag the Dog 2448
- A brief look at FARC’s origins in Colombia 2397
- ‘Panama Papers’ bags Pulitzer 2429
- SAITM will cooperate with Govt 2459
- dead man was near fashion mall 2464
- Japanese MPs back Lanka’s development 2452
- CB Bond earnings whitewashed – JVP 2445
- Talks to extend Lanka’s Continental Shelf 2453
- Ex-DIG and son re-remanded 2461
- Government can be sent home 3015
- GMOA flogging SAITM for Mahinda– Rajitha 2468
- Ranil invites Japan to invest in S. Asia 2412
- Somali Pirates’ Captives Back Home 2431
- Customs in Rs 8 M bust 2440
- May Day Rally …or the Boot ! 2368
- Auspicious Times presented to President 2317
- Johnston sacked SLFP reshuffles K’gala 3182
- Singapore in the crossfire 3223
- Park impeachment and SK foreign policy 3177
- Filipino Oconer wins overall title 2082
- Unsporty conduct by Joes 2131
- Bertie Wijesinghe, pre-Test era Sri Lankan cricketer, dies aged 96 2082
- CEAT revs up for 2017 2113
- Palace shock Arsenal 2063
- Argentina fire coach Bauza 2070
- BCCI postpones SGM to 18 April 2039
- Murray returns from injury 2052
- New mum Azarenka to return to WTA 2018
- Galle win by 188 runs 2022
- Kapugedera ton boosts Kandy 1846
- Pakistan charges Jamshed in spot-fixing case 1864
- IAAF clears seven more Russians to compete 1877
- Game evenly poised 1873
- Saumy Zainab wins Championship 1960
- Keeping Cool 2070
- Do the right thing and do it now! 2078
- Ravi Jayewardene Pious son of a political giant 2678
- Minorities’ frustration a powder keg – VIDURA 2424
- Administrative powers a must for the Plantation Tamils –Radhakrishnan 1693
- Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness– Indika Perera 2847
- SilkAir launches direct flights to Colombo 2156
- Rupee falls on thin volumes 2094
- SriLankan, Japan Airlines add new routes 2074
- Colombo Port box volume up 5.6-pct in Jan 2101
- Private sector to transform into main domestic growth engine 2094
- Oil eases from 5-week top, rising US production weighs 2061
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies constrain SL’s growth 2091
- Shell admits dealing with money launderer 2069
- Toshiba may sell chip business to Foxconn for $27bn 2078
- Asian shares pressured by geopolitical risks; Nikkei down 0.25% 2055
- SLIM launches Certificate in Digital Marketing 2065
- Microsoft Hosts Second ‘Device Day’ in Sri Lanka 2064
- Emirates named Best Airline in the World 2032
- Turkish Airlines and social media assist Somalia 2066
- Brain cell therapy ‘promising’ for Parkinson’s disease 2062
- Trump pushed into bombing Syria 2125
- Thailand discovers Power of Women Travellers 2106
- Economics of gambling 2044
- Trans National Aural Identity 3656
- Queen Anula The Shadow of Cleopatra 3750
- Poetry and its possibilities Part 2 3729
- The Enigma of Labyrinths 3808
- From Couture to Kutir 3725
- Hybrid Sources 5100
- With a festive bang! 1316
- Easter Fun 1312
- Arrogance and crowing is the way of the doomed 1347
- Avurudu on the streets 1363
- Tick control 1445
- Sunny Sunday on the beach 1318
- It’s time to save the world 1353
- From viewer to YouTuber! 1406
- Expert skincare and makeup 1399
- Avurudu at Induruwa 1384
- Exo 1420
- Remembering our fallen heroes 2506