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Garment worker unions in Sri Lanka sign agreement with JAAF


Garment worker unions in Sri Lanka sign agreement with JAAF


Garment worker unions in Sri Lanka have signed a ground-breaking agreement with employer association Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) in which both parties reached an understanding about how to address vital workplace issues for garment workers, especially during the pandemic.

This historic agreement lays out and confirms joint support for fundamental steps towards improving working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic and importantly towards respect for freedom of association in Sri Lanka’s garment industry.

A joint statement of the Sri Lankan signatory unions, Free Trade Zones & General Service Emplees Union, National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka & National Union of Migrant Workers Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka NidahasSewakaSangamaya said: “This is the first time an industrial sector is represented in a bi-partite agreement with worker representatives. This is also the first time both employer and employee representatives have agreed on workplace health management through bi-partite health committees.”

InekeZeldenrust, International Coordinator at Clean Clothes Campaign, said: “This agreement goes some way towards redressing the power imbalance between workers and employers. It gives joint support for the Bipartite Health Committees, and a Bipartite Dispute Resolution Mechanism, all of which have been key asks of the Sri Lankan trade unions to factory owners during the pandemic.”