Calling on the Sri Lankan High Commission to take action
We strongly urge the Sri Lankan government to take action to hold British-Sri Lankan industrial glove company ATG Ceylon Pvt Ltd to account for its continual abuse of workers rights and breach of Sri Lankan law.
Workers at this factory have been subject to a range of human rights abuses breaching both Sri Lankan and international labour laws and conventions. The abuse has been so serious that workers have resorted to strike action in order to raise awareness of continued attacks on the rights of workers and members of the Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ-GSEU) and to call for protection of their rights. We are particularly concerned about the violent and sexual harassment against a woman worker who was pressurised to leave the union, a case that we fear will be repeated if this company is allowed to act with impunity.
The company’s use of temporary contract labour to continue production, replacing permanent workers on strike, in contravention of Sri Lankan Board of Investment’s regulations and ILO standards.
Today marks the 2nd month of the strike action by 400+workers from ATG Ceylon Pvt Ltd, and it is now the longest running strike in the Katunayake Investment Promotion Zone. The strike was prompted when the company illegally dismissed five workers, all FTZ&GSEU union office bearers, on the 11th January 2019. Since then the company has ignored and failed to follow advice of both the Assistant Labour Commissioner of Negambo and the Commissioner General of Labour to resolve this dispute.
This is not the first time concerns have been raised about ATG Ceylon Pvt Ltd respect for Sri Lankan law and workers rights, and we urge the Sri Lankan government to take action and protect workers' rights.