URGENT APPEAL with regard to plight of Manpower workers in self-quarantine

We, the undersigned organisations and unions working on behalf of FTZ and Manpower workers, call on the Government – Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, the Presidential Task Force to combat COVID-19, the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Ministry Level (Tripartite) Task Force to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on Employment, to respond to the following urgent demands;

  • – To provide urgent relief rations, essentials and medicines to workers in mandatory self-quarantine. Here’s a list of some of the COVID Funds received from Corporates, foreign Governments and IFIs to date. We trust that the Government utilise some of these funds to provide assistance to these workers and publicise a breakdown of how these funds have been utilized thus far.
  • – To carry out an immediate survey/needs assessment of workers in and around the FTZs, including accurate information on Manpower workers.
  • – To provide Rs. 10,000 health allowance for FTZ workers who have lost their jobs, or are currently unable to work due to COVID-19, including Manpower workers.
  • – To carry out PCR testing on all workers, including Manpower workers working in and around the Katunayaka FTZs.
  • – To ensure that all Government quarantine facilities and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients are inkeeping with international safety standards.
  • – To maintain a regular flow of risk communication, including what to expect in case of anyone in the boarding or factory being found to be COVID positive, or is showing symptoms, and details about Government response and emergency contacts. Ensure that all communication is shared in Sinhala and Tamil.
  • – To ensure workers taken to quarantine centres, in mandatory self-quarantine, and/or have not been able to go to work during the lockdown, are compensated.
  • – Publicise and enforce the tripartite agreement on compensation reached during lockdown, decided on at the Joint Task Force meeting.
  • – Strictly enforce safety regulations via Government health authorities when factories open and workers are asked to report to work.

Signed by;

  • Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBE)
    Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions (CFTU)
    Ceylon Industrial Workers Union (CIWU)
    Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union (CMU)
    Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU)
    Dabindu Collective Sri Lanka, Katunayake
    Liberation Movement
    National Union of Seafarers in Sri Lanka (NUSS)
    Progressive Women’s Collective
    Revolutionary Existence for human Development (RED), Katunayake
    Sramabimani Kendraya, Seeduwa
    Standup Movement Lanka, Katunayake
    United Federation of Labour (UFL)List Item