Problems faced by employees in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone

October 20, 2020

Hon. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakshe

Prime Minister’s Office

Colombo 7.

Dear Prime Minister

Problems faced by employees in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone

With the spread of the second wave of Covid 19 to the Katunayake Free Trade Zone workers working in those factories and the workers staying in the boarding houses around the zone have faced a number of serious difficulties.

1. Due to the curfew imposed in the area, all except those who go to work, are unable to go to shops to buy essential food items they need. Many shops in the area have been closed due to the curfew.

2. The management of the factories in the area has advised the workers who stay with the workers of Covid affected factories, not to report for work.

3. As a result, a large number of employees are stuck in their boarding houses. These employees have no money to buy essential goods. Under normal circumstances, these workers buy groceries on credit from nearby shops. After receiving the salary, the previous loan is repaid and the goods purchased on credit again. But due to the viral situation, the grocery owners are now refusing to issue goods on credit.

4. The factories where these workers work also do not provide dry rations or money for their employees. Especially boarding houses where workers of Brandix, Next, Okaya Lanka, Dial Tex, Smart Shirt, Chiefway Lanka, ATG remaining in their boarding houses without any food and way of living.

5. At the moment these employees in particular are asking for food items, not money.

6. The relevant Grama Niladharies do not carry out a proper investigation regarding these persons.

7. Therefore, In view of this situation we kindly request you to establish a way to provide food and health facilities for these employees at your earliest.

Yours sincerely

Linus Jayatilake (0712096867)

President

Cc:      Hon Minister of Labour

            Commissioner General of Labour

District Secretary – Gampaha

Divisional Secretary – Katana

BOI – Katunayake