A Community Kitchen was hold for the 5th time by Dabindu Collective on 25th September 2022 at Dabindu Office. The event was conducted for the apparel sector workers who are getting the lowest income & Single mothers. This also one of the big achievement for us.

டாபிந்து கலெக்டிவ் மூலம் 5வது முறையாக சமூக சமையலறை 2022 செப்டம்பர் 25 அன்று டாபிந்து அலுவலகத்தில் நடைபெற்றது. மிகக் குறைந்த வருமானம் பெறும் ஆடைத் துறைத் தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் ஒற்றைத் தாய்மார்களுக்காக இந்நிகழ்வு நடத்தப்பட்டது. இதுவும் எமது சாதனைகளில் ஒன்றாகவே நாம் கருதுகின்றோம்.

ඩාබිඳු සාමූහිකය විසින් පොදු කුස්සිය 5වන වරටත් සැප්තැම්බර් 25 වන දින ඩාබිඳු කාර්යාලයේදී පැවැත්විණි. අඩුම ආදායම් ලබන ඇඟලුම් අංශයේ සේවකයන් සහ තනිකඩ මව්වරුන් වෙනුවෙන් මෙම උත්සවය පවත්වන ලදී. මෙය අපගේ එක් ජයග්‍රහණයක් ලෙස අපි සලකමු.

Dabindu Collective has conducted one day Awareness Program in Katunayake on 25th September 2022. The event was hold for apparel sector women workers. While the participants were encouraged to share their thoughts, group activities & discussions.

ඩාබිඳු සාමූහිකය විසින් 2022 සැප්තැම්බර් 25 වැනි දින කටුනායකදී එක් දින දැනුවත් කිරීමේ වැඩසටහනක් පවත්වන ලදී. මෙම උත්සවය ඇඟලුම් අංශයේ කාන්තා සේවිකාවන් සඳහා පැවැත්විණි. ඔවුන්ගේ අදහස්, කණ්ඩායම් ක්‍රියාකාරකම් සහ සාකච්ඡා බෙදා ගැනීමට සහභාගිවන්නන් දිරිමත් කරන ලදී.

டாபிந்து கூட்டமைப்பானது ஒரு நாள் விழிப்புணர்வு நிகழ்ச்சியை 2022 செப்டம்பர் 25 அன்று கட்டுநாயக்கவில் நடத்தியது. ஆடைத் துறையில் பணிபுரியும் பெண் தொழிலாளர்களுக்கான இந்த நிகழ்ச்சி நடைபெற்றது.பங்கேற்பாளர்கள் தங்கள் எண்ணங்கள், குழு நடவடிக்கைகள் மற்றும் விவாதங்களைப் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ள ஊக்குவிக்கப்பட்டனர்.

Conducted one day C-190 Awareness Raising Program in Vavuniya North Sector. The program was conducted to know about the C-190 rules and lessons. They trained about the convention 190 rules and got the knowledge about the harassment and Violence.

வவுனியாவில் ஒரு நாள் C-190 விழிப்புணர்வு நிகழ்ச்சி நடத்தப்பட்டது. C-190 விதிகள் மற்றும் பாடங்களைப் பற்றி தெரிந்துகொள்ள நிகழ்ச்சி நடத்தப்பட்டது. அவர்கள் C -190 மாநாட்டு விதிகள் பற்றி பயிற்சி அளிக்கப்பட்டதோடு , துன்புறுத்தல் மற்றும் வன்முறை பற்றிய அறிவைப் பெற்றனர்.

වවුනියාව උතුරු අංශයේ C-190 දැනුවත් කිරීමේ එක්දින වැඩසටහනක් පවත්වන ලදී. C-190 නීති රීති සහ පාඩම් පිළිබඳව දැනුවත් සඳහා මෙම වැඩසටහන පවත්වන ලදී. ඔවුන් C-190 සම්මුති විධිවිධාන පිළිබඳව පුහුණුව ලැබූ අතර හිරිහැර සහ ප්‍රචණ්ඩත්වය පිළිබඳ දැනුම ලබා ගත්හ.

We are proudly saying that, Our Dabindu Collective has conducted five programs in one day. A one & half day residential workshop was conducted from the 24th &25th September 2022 in North Sector for Tamil Youth Men and Women Participants from Kilinochchi & Vavuniya. The series was conducted for developing the Leadership skills , Discussing the practical leanings and group activities . The participants were encouraged to share their opinions.

අපි ආඩම්බරයෙන් කියන්නේ අපේ ඩාබිඳු සාමූහිකය එක දවසක් තුළ වැඩසටහන් පහක් පවත්වලා තියෙනවා. 2022 සැප්තැම්බර් 24 සහ 25 දින සිට කිලිනොච්චිය සහ වවුනියාව ප්‍රදේශයේ දෙමළ තරුණ පිරිමි සහ කාන්තා සහභාගිවන්නන් සඳහා උතුරු අංශයේ දින එකහමාරක නේවාසික වැඩමුළුවක් පවත්වන ලදී. නායකත්ව කුසලතා වර්ධනය කිරීම, ප්‍රායෝගික නැඹුරුව සහ කණ්ඩායම් ක්‍රියාකාරකම් පිළිබඳව සාකච්ඡා කිරීම සඳහා මෙම මාලාව පවත්වන ලදී. සහභාගිවන්නන් ඔවුන්ගේ අදහස් බෙදා ගැනීමට දිරිමත් කරන ලදී.

எங்கள் டாபிந்து கூட்டமைப்பானது ஒரே நாளில் ஐந்து நிகழ்ச்சிகளை நடத்தியிருப்பதில் பெருமை கொள்கிறோம். 2022 செப்டெம்பர் 24 மற்றும் 25 ஆம் திகதிகளில் இருந்து கிளிநொச்சி மற்றும் வவுனியா பிரதேசத்தைச் சேர்ந்த தமிழ் இளைஞர்கள் ஆண் மற்றும் பெண் பங்கேற்பாளர்களுக்காக வடக்குப் பகுதியில் ஒன்றரை நாள் வதிவிடப் பட்டறை நடத்தப்பட்டது. தலைமைத்துவ திறன் மேம்பாடு, நடைமுறை நோக்குநிலை மற்றும் குழுப்பணி பற்றி கலந்துரையாட இந்தத் தொடர் நடத்தப்பட்டது. பங்கேற்பாளர்கள் தங்கள் கருத்துக்களைப் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ள ஊக்குவிக்கப்பட்டனர்.

Successfully celebrated the 38th Anniversary and The Annual General Meeting of Dabindu Collective Organization on 18th September 2022 at White Palace, Kurana, Negombo.We express our thanks to the Dabindu Director Board, CSO Members, Apparel Sector Workers, Trade Union Members , Dabindu Team & Everyone who gave the support to do the program well.

ඩාබිඳු සාමූහික සංවිධානයේ 38 වැනි සංවත්සරය සහ වාර්ෂික මහ සභා රැස්වීම 2022 සැප්තැම්බර් 18 වැනි දින මීගමුව කුරණ වයිට් පැලස් හිදී සාර්ථකව සමරන ලදී. ඩාබිඳු අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලයට, CSO සාමාජිකයින්ට, ඇඟලුම් අංශයේ සේවකයින්ට, වෘත්තීය සමිති සාමාජිකයින්ට, ඩාබිඳු කණ්ඩායමට සහ වැඩසටහන සාර්ථකව සිදුකිරීමට සහයෝගය දුන් සැමට අපගේ ස්තුතිය පුදකර සිටිමු.

டாபிந்து கூட்டமைப்பின் 38வது ஆண்டு விழா மற்றும் ஆண்டுப் பொதுக் கூட்டம் 18 செப்டம்பர் 2022 அன்று நீர்கொழும்பு குரனவில் உள்ள வயிட் பலஸ் இல் வெற்றிகரமாகக் கொண்டாடப்பட்டது.
டாபிந்து பணிப்பாளர் சபை, CSO உறுப்பினர்கள், ஆடைத் துறைத் தொழிலாளர்கள், தொழிற்சங்க உறுப்பினர்கள், டாபிந்து குழு மற்றும் நிகழ்ச்சியை சிறப்பாகச் செய்ய ஆதரவளித்த அனைவருக்கும் எங்கள் நன்றியைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.

The Dabindu Collective has conducted a one-and-a-half-day mobilization training program to develop the leadership, communication, team building and develop the women’s participation in Trade Union. The session was hold at White Palace, Kurana. The camp based for an apparel sector workers at Katunayake and Biyagama and it was led by Mr. Kesara Kottegoda. The women who attended this session was very useful. We thank him for facilitating the training session.

වෘත්තීය සමිතියේ නායකත්වය, සන්නිවේදනය, කණ්ඩායම් ගොඩනැගීම සහ කාන්තා සහභාගිත්වය වර්ධනය කිරීම සඳහා ඩාබිඳු සාමූහිකය විසින් දින එකහමාරක බලමුලු ගැන්වීමේ පුහුණු වැඩසටහනක් පවත්වනු ලදී . මෙම සැසිවාරය කුරණ වෛට් පැලස් හිදී පැවැත්වුණේය . කටුනායක සහ බියගම ඇඟලුම් අංශයේ සේවිකාවන් සඳහා කඳවුරු පැවැත් වූ අතර එය මෙහෙයවනුලැබුවේ කේසර කෝට්ටේගොඩ මහතා විසිනි. පුහුණු සැසියට සම්පත්දායක දැක්වූ කේසර මහතාට ස්තූතිවන්ත වෙමු.

தொழிற்சங்கத்தில் தலைமைத்துவம், தகவல் தொடர்பு, குழு உருவாக்கம் மற்றும் பெண்களின் பங்கேற்பு ஆகியவற்றை மேம்படுத்துவதற்காக டாபிந்து கலெக்டிவ் மூலம் ஒன்றரை நாள் அணிதிரட்டல் பயிற்சி நடத்தப்பட்டது. இந்த அமர்வு குரண வைட் பலஸ் இல் நடைபெற்றது. கட்டுநாயக்க மற்றும் பியகம ஆடைத் துறை பெண் தொழிலாளர்களுக்கான இந் நிகழ்வை திரு.கேசர கோட்டேகொட அவர்களால் நடத்தப்பட்டது. பயிற்சி அமர்வை நிகழ்த்திய திரு.கேசராவுக்கு எமது நன்றியை தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.

Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content. Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content. Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content. Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content.
RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: A valid URL was not provided.
Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content. Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content. Block is cannot be rendered because has not content. Try to change attributes or add a content.

Dabindu Collective has hold the Community Kitchen for the 4th time on 04th September 2022 at Dabindu Office. We conducted this project for low income Free Trade Zone workers. We express our thanks to Asia Floor Wage for sponsoring us to do this Social Work.

ඩාබිඳු සාමුහිකය විසින් සිව්වන වරටත් පොදු කුස්සිය 2022 සැප්තැම්බර් 04 වන දින ඩාබිඳු කාර්යාලයේදී පවත්වන ලදී. අඩු ආදායම්ලාභී නිදහස් වෙළෙඳ කලාප සේවකයන් වෙනුවෙන් මේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය සිදුකරන ලදී. මෙම සමාජ සේවය ඉතා සාර්ථකව ඉටුකිරීමට අප ආයතනයට අනුග්‍රහය දැක්වූ ඒෂියා ෆ්ලොර් වෙජ් ආයතනය වෙත අපගේ ස්තුතිය පුදකර සිටිමු.

டாபிந்து கூட்டமைப்பானது சமூக சமையலறையை 4வது தடவையாக 04 செப்டம்பர் 2022 அன்று டாபிந்து அலுவலகத்தில் நடத்தியது. குறைந்த வருமானம் பெறும் சுதந்திர வர்த்தக வலய தொழிலாளர்களுக்காக இந்த திட்டத்தை நாங்கள் நடத்தினோம். இந்த சமூகப் பணியைச் செய்வதற்கு எங்களுக்கு நிதியுதவி செய்த ஆசியா ஃப்ளோர் வேஜ் அமைப்புக்கு எங்கள் நன்றியைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.

The Strategic Plan Discussion of Dabindu Collective was held from 28.08.2022 to 30.08.2022 at Camelot Beach Hotel, Negombo. There was a three days’ workshop and the objective of the program is to build strategic plan for next five years. The program was funded by The Asia Foundation. The program started at around 9 A.M. and was attended by 15 workers between ages of 20 to 45 in various age groups. It was facilitated by Tehani Ariyarathne who is working for feminist activism. They discussed about current social issues which are facing by women apparel workers in Free Trade Zone. They shared their experience about issues regarding health and worker’s rights during covid 19 pandemic situation.             In that workshop, Civil Society Organizations, women appeal workers, and staff members of Dabindu Collective shared their experiences for developing new strategies, activities and network building for Dabindu Collective organization.

මෙවර ජාත්‍යන්තර ස්ත්‍රී දින සැමරුම ඩාබිදු  සාමූහිකයේ අනුග්‍රහයෙන් 06/03/2022 දින‍ කිලිනොච්චි දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේදී සමරනු ලැබිණි

මෙයට කටුනායක වව්නියාව හා කිලිනොච්චි ප්‍රදේශ වල ඇගළුම් ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ සේවය කරන  කම්කරුවන් ඒකරාශී කොටගෙන පැවැත්වීමට ලැබීම විශේෂ සිදුවීමකි

මෙවර ස්ත්‍රී දින සැමරීමේ විශේෂ තේමාව වූයේ සී -190 සම්මුතිය අපරානුමත කරගැනීමයි.  මෙම සැමරම වඩාත් අර්ථවත් කරමින් කම්කරු අයිතීක් තහවුරු කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලා විරෝධතා පා ගමනක් පැවැත්වීමද එහිදී සී 190 අපරානුමත කරන ලෙසද ජීවත් වීමට සරිලන වැටුප් ලබා දෙන ලෙසද ආයතන වල හිංසනයන් දුරලන ලෙසද ඉල්ලා සටන් පාඨ කියමින් පා ගමනින් සැමරුම් ස්ථානය වෙත පැමිණ උත්සවය ආරම්භ කෙරිණි

සියළු දෙනා නියෝජනය කරමින් පොල් තෙල් පහන් දැල්වීමෙන් අනතුරුව ඩාබිදු සාමූහිකයේ වැඩසටහන් සම්බන්ධීකාරක විසින් වැඩසටහනේ  අරමුණ පැහැදිලි කරමින් වර්තමානයේ කාන්තාවන් මුහුණ පාන ගැටළුකාරී තත්වයන් පිළිබදව සභාවට අදහස් ඉදිරිපත් කළ අතර එහිදී ගෘහස්ථ හිංසනයේ ගොදුරු බවට පත්වෙමින් 4/1 සමීපතමයන්ගේ හිංසනයට ලක්වන බවත් ලෝකයේ කාන්තාවන්ගෙන් 5/1 ක් කුමණ  හෝ හිංසනයකට ගොදුරු වී ඇති බවත් මෑතකදී කැළණිය විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය විසින් කල සමීක්ෂණයකදී සිය දිවි නසා ගැනීම් නිසා සිදුවූ මරණ වලදී 65% ප්‍රමාණයක් තම සමීපතමයන් විසින් සිදුකල මරණ නිසා සිදුවූවක් බවද ඒවා වැඩි ප්‍රමාණයක් වාර්තා නොවන බවද ප්‍රකාශ කර සිටියහ. එසේම ඇගළුම් කර්මාන්තශාලා වල සේවා පරිසරය තුළ සිදුවන හිංසනයන් පිළිබදවද මෙහිදී සදහන් කළ අතර මේ නිසාම නීතියේ ආරක්ෂාව නොලැබෙන තත්වයක් යටතේ අනිවාර්යයෙන් සී 190 සම්සුති අපරානුමත කර ගැනීම සදහා සියළු උත්සහයන් දැරිය යුතු බවද ප්‍රකාශ කලාය.

මෙහිදී ඇගළුම් කර්මාන්තශාලා නියෝජනය කරමින් ශ්‍රමික සහෝදරියන් සිය අත්දැකීම් ඉදිරිපත් කරමින් රැකියාව නිසාම විදින්නට සිදුවන අපහසුතාවන් මෙන්ම නීීත්‍යානුකූල රැකවරණය අහිමි වීම නිසා සිදුවන හිංසාකාරී තත්වයන් මෙහිදී මතුකර ගැනීමට හැකි විය

ප්‍රධාන දේශණය සදහා පැමීණි නීතිඥ රොබින්සා මහත්මියද වැඩ ලෝකය තුළ සිදුවන හිංසනයන් සම්බන්ධව ඇති තත්වයන් සම්බන්ධව සභාවට කරුණු පිළිබද වාර්තා කළ අතර මෙම සම්මුතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේදී බවතින නිතිමය දුර්වලතාවන් පිළිබද වැදගත් කරුණු ඉදිරිපත් කරමින් පැමිණි පිරිස දැනුවත් කරන ලදි

විවිධ නර්තනයන් හා නාට්‍යමය ජවනිකාවලින් ඔපවත් වූ මෙම වැඩ සටහන අවසානයේ පැවති පොදු සාකච්ඡාවේදී පවා සේවකයින්ගේ අදහස් මතු වූ අතර සාර්ථක ලෙස එදින වැඩසටහන නිමාවට පත්වුණි

The apparel sector in Sri Lanka contributes 7% to the country’s total GDP. In 2019 it earned a record high of US$ 5.3 billion U.S. from export earnings. The industry represented 46.9% of the country’s total exports (59% of industrial exports) at US$ 9,426 million in 2019. The market constitutes accelerated demands from the EU, US, Canada, The United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Japan. In 2019 exports to the EU grew over 5 percent per year and reached 2.2 billion U.S. dollars while exports to the United States recorded a growth of 3.3 percent year reaching 2.3 billion U.S. dollars. Despite the contractions in global demand for the products and disruptions to the supply chain of raw materials amidst the current COVID – 19 pandemic, the industry continued to yield profits earning US$ 3,434.8 million from exports in January – August 2021 which is a 20.4% increase over that of January

– August 2020, US$ 2,853.1 evidencing the commercial stability and the sustainability of the industry.

Background

With economic liberalization and open markets, Sri Lanka welcomed industrious foreign direct investments since 1977. Immunized by government concessions, incentives, and infrastructure, the apparel sector started to flourish leading up to establishing 14 special zones commonly knowns as Free Trade Zones across the island since its first installation in Katunayake in 1978. Manufactures and exporters can vary from large to small & medium scale depending on the production capacity. Although the majority of the export-oriented clothing factories are SMEs and they are scattered across the country. Within these factories are some of the best-produced garments ranging from sportswear, lingerie, loungewear, bridal wear, workwear, swimwear to children’s wear under world-renowned labels such as Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Next, Jones New York, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Pink, Triumph, Ann Taylor, Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch, Land’s End, Marks & Spencer, etc. The sector provides around 300,000 to 600,000 direct employment in 300 to 360 garment factories around the country. Amongst which 78% is identified as female labor performing routine work such as sewing machine operation. Amidst rural poverty and unemployment, in pursuit of the comfort of their families and children, women living in rural areas migrate to the FTZs catering to the abundance of demand for “light manufacturing labor” in garment factories.

Marching towards a “living wage”

Although the garment industry in Sri Lanka provides an unprecedented number of jobs to women in the rural poverty line of Sri Lanka, contributing to economic growth and positive balance of payments in the country, it has come at a price – and it is the workers who are paying it.

Apparel sector workers in Sri Lanka are paid a basic salary of approximately 120-175US $ (25,000LKR – 35,000LKR) per month including overtime and other incentives which don’t even cover their basic expenses. As sole breadwinners of their families, these workers remit around two-third of their paycheck back to their families in rural villages leaving a bare minimum for their survival in free trade zones, which entails food, accommodation, transportation, and other living costs. Typically, food accounts for over 50% of the monthly income of low- income groups however there is a drastic change in this pattern observed among apparel sector workers due to hidden costs such as boarding and hostel payments, weekly transportation back to their villages, water bills, electricity, and other utility bills, overtime work, deviation from their family and social life.

Currently, the cost of living estimated for a family of four per month in Sri Lanka is around 400US $ (80,000 LKR) which is over twice of apparel sector workers’ monthly income inclusive of incentives and overtime led to finding extra money from illegal trades such as prostitution, working at illegal massage parlors and sending their underage children to work. For some of them obtaining microfinance is the last resort. “Extremely low wages are a cause of forced labor and debt bondage”.The ILO has therefore encouraged national authorities to set minimum wages to prevent the payment of extremely low wages that are insufficient to maintain the workers and their families”(Weissbrodt, David; Anti-Slavery International; 2002). Although the ILO convention has taken such measures to provide minimum wages, currently, the minimum wage of these workers is only 78.58US$ (16,000LKR), which is still not a justifiable, fair wage given that they are working for a multi-billion-dollar industry that directly contributes to a positive trade balance. Further, Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is benefitting from large the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+) concession, However, the benefits are not equitably distributed among these factory level workers who are the backbone of the entire production process, and there are no dialogues identifying constructive mechanisms to ensure the trickle-down of benefits to workers, despite many attempts by Trade Unions and labor NGOs.

According to Asia Floor Wage statistics, “For an average item of clothing only between 0.5-3% of the cost goes to the worker who made it. This means that on an €8 t-shirt, the most a worker will get paid is 24 cents.” Not only does this evidence the exploitation of labor in the sector but also questions whopping profits margins and its equitable distribution. As mentioned above apparel sector in Sri Lanka enjoys a surplus and benefits derived from government subsidies and the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+) scheme hence proportion paid to labor is not only justifiable but also questions many aspects of the industry including corruption inside factories at the expense of labors.

As minimum wages and other statutory measures fail to provide solutions to notoriously low wages in the apparel sector, stakeholders who are concerned about this issue including INGOs, NGOs, and Civil Society Organizations propose a “Living Wage” as a sustainable solution. “A living wage, recognized by the UN as a human right, is a

wage that is sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for a worker and their family. It should be earned in a standard workweek of no more than 48 hours and must include enough to pay for food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and some discretionary earnings, including savings for unexpected events (Labor behind the label). Thus, according to the research conducted by “Labor behind the label” in 2020, the Living wage benchmark (AFW2020 and CCC estimates) vs average minimum wage in Sri Lanka is 13% at a minimum wage of 49.12 US $ (10,000LKR) and calculated “living wage” of 371.32 US $ (75,601LKR).

Impaired wages amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic had drastic effects on the apparel sector and its workforce. With the identification of the initial group of patients, the Sri Lanka government instituted a 1-month national lockdown from the end of March to the of end April 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. Factories were permitted to reopen at the end of April 2020, albeit with limited staff. In October 2020 the second wave of the pandemic emerged from a leading apparel factory in the country causing the virus to spread among more than 15,000 workers across EPZ. Trade unions argued that the emergence of the second wave from the apparel sector was due to poor health practices and the negligence of factory authorities. Along with the spread of the virus in factories lot of workers had to face wage loss in various manners. Many factories have halted paying workers incentives such as overtime and attendance bonus and even the April and December annual bonus. Wages of workers who were under quarantine were also deducted in several factories. Irrespective of the prevailing health situation in the country in 2021, the factories continued their functioning, and workers were compelled to attend to work in some cases without the incentives provided. To maintain the health and safety of the workers, there were guidelines drawn by the health authorities of the government. But some factories neglected in following the provided guidelines. As the Sri Lankan garment industry has been affected by lower orders during the pandemic, in early May 2020, a tripartite task force led by the Ministry of Labour reached an agreement that required employers not to terminate workers’ employment during the pandemic and to pay 50% of workers’ basic wages, or at least LKR 14,500, if workers are furloughed. This agreement was later extended to October 2020 and then factories continued the practice until March 2021. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka’s earnings from textiles and garment exports increased by 28 percent year-on-year to

$2.487 billion during the first six months of 2021, according to the statistics released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This is an indication of workers’ commitment even amidst the pandemic. According to the Clean Cloth Campaign (CCC) ‘Still, underpaid report’ estimated wage gap for Sri Lanka’s garment workers from March 2020 to April 2021 of LKR 61.763 billion (US$313.5 million), which is the combined impact of lost wages during the first lockdown, job losses without due severance, continued furlough arrangements from June to August 2020, and unpaid bonuses in 2020.

Free Trade Zone workers didn’t even receive 24.65 US $ (Rs. 5,000) government Covid subsidy despite meeting the prerequisites, as they were not registered voters in areas of current residence, despite being a resident and working there for a prolonged period.

While economically stable households used this emergency as an opportunity to expand family relationships, working women in free trade zones were in a dilemma. Lower wages in the industry tie workers in a vicious cycle of poverty. In absence of sufficient financial resources to obtain nutritious food, their physical health and quality of life have deteriorated which are directed consequences of low wages.

With oppression at the workplace owing to the fear of losing jobs, pay cuts, huge targets and not having recovery plans to manage their future, family life and personal relationships of the Free Trade Zone workers, who are mostly women, were also negatively affected. With restrained movement and lack of social engagement, intimate partner violence in workers’ households has soared. Many complaints of physical harm and life threats were reported to the local police and hospitals amidst the lockdown flagging a shadow pandemic.

The Da Bidu Collective announces a Happy New Year to all working people, including those working in the Free Trade Zones. Rulers of companies as well as the government should move towards respecting and recognizing the trade union rights of workers. Considering the existing cost of living, action should be taken to provide a decent living wage and to reduce the cost of living. It is also the responsibility of the government to take the necessary steps to move towards a more democratic orientation. The Da Bindu Collective says that if the government takes action to curtail the rights of the working people, it is ready to fight as a trade union when necessary.

A look back at the past year

Last year was not a good year for working people because of the Covid 19 epidemic. They were persecuted more than ever by the rulers. Due to the unexpected rise in the cost of living, wages were not enough. But in the midst of that situation, the Da Bindu Collective had the opportunity to provide various reliefs and programs for the working people in the Free Trade Zones.

In January 2021, awareness programs on reproductive health were launched for the employees of the Biyagama and Katunayake Free Trade Zones. The specialty was the training session held for the representatives of the civil society organizations working for the free trade zone employees. Paba Deshapriya, a resource person, aims to introduce new trainers into the field of reproductive health.

The Women’s Day celebration of the Da Bindu Collective was held last March and focused on the rights of working women. Also supported the protest against the prejudice against Ansel Lanka trade union leaders who existed at Biyagama. Meanwhile, Dabindu supported to program against the microcredit issue that was organized by affected women. The program was held at Hingurakgoda.

In the midst of the epidemic situation in May and June, Da Bindu launched a number of online programs and a program to commemorate the slain Roshen Chanaka. Chamila Thushari of the Da Bindu Collective, who represented a number of programs from July to October, spoke on labor rights. It is a great opportunity to meet with the UN Special Rapporteur in November to comment on the situation.

In December, working women in Kilinochchi visited the Nuwara Eliya District to share their experiences and all facilities were provided by the Da Bindu Collective.

Read Sinhala Article සිංහලෙන් කියවන්න

නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාපවල සේවය කරන සියලු දෙනා ඇතුළු වැඩ කරන ජනතාවට සුබ නව වසරක් ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරන බව ඩා බිදු සාමූහිකය නිවේදනය කරයි.  සේවකයන්ගේ වෘත්තීය අයිතිවාසිකම් ගරු කරන සහ පිළිගන්නා තැනට පාලකයන් මෙන්ම ආණ්ඩුවද යොමු විය යුතුයි. පවතින ජීවන වියදම සළකා බලා ජීවත් වීමට ප්‍රමාණවත් වැටුපක් ලබා දීමටද, ජීවන වියදම අඩු කිරීමටද කටයුතු කළ යුතුය. එසේම වඩාත් ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී නැඹුරුවක් කරා යොමු වීමට අවශ්‍ය පියවර ගැනීමද ආණ්ඩුවේ වගකීමකි. යම් හෙයකින් වැඩ කරන ජනතාවගේ අයිතීන් කප්පාදුවට ආණ්ඩුව කටයුතු කරන්නේ නම් අවශ්‍ය අවස්ථාවල වෘත්තීය අරගලවලට සූදානම් බවද ඩා බිඳු සාමූහිකය පවසයි.

පසුගිය වසර දෙස හැරී බැලීමක්

පසුගිය වසර කොවිඩ් 19 ව්‍යසනය නිසා වැඩකරන ජනයාට යහපත් වසරක් නොවීය. ඔවුන් වෙනදාටත් වඩා පාලකයන්ගේ පීඩාවට සහ හිංසනයට ගොදුරු විය. අනපේක්ෂිත ලෙස ජීවන වියදම ඉහළ යාම නිසා ලැබෙන වැටුප ප්‍රමාණවත් නොවීය.  එහෙත් ඒ තත්ත්වය මධ්‍යයේ නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප ආශ්‍රිතව වැඩකරන ජනයා වෙනුවෙන් විවිධ සහන හා වැඩසටහන් සම්පාදනය කරන්නට ඩා බිඳු සාමූහිකයට අවස්ථාව උදා විය.

2021 ජනවාරි මාසයේ කටුනායක, බියගම නිදහස් වෙළඳකලාපවල සේවිකාවන් වෙනුවෙන් ප්‍රජනන සෞඛ්‍ය ගැන දැනුවත් කිරීමේ වැඩසටහන් දියත් විය. විශේෂත්වය වන්නේ නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සේවක සේවිකාවන් වෙනුවෙන් කටයුතු කරන සිවිල් සංවිධාන නියෝජිතයන් වෙනුවෙන් පැවැත් වූ පුහුණු සැසියයි. පබා දේශප්‍රිය සම්පත් දායිකාව වූ එහි ඉලක්කය වූයේ ප්‍රජනන සෞඛ්‍ය විෂයයෙහි පුහුණුකරුවන් බිහි කිරීමයි.

 කිලිනොච්චියෙන්  නුවරඑළියට නෑගම්

පසුගිය මාර්තු මාසයේදී ඩා බිඳු සාමූහිකයේ කාන්තා දින සැමරුම පැවැත් වූ අතර එහිදී වැඩ කරන කාන්තාව තේමා කරගනිමින් අයිතීන් ගැන අවධානය යොමු කරන ලදී. ඇන්සල් ලංකා වෘත්තීය සමිති නායකයින්ට සිදු වූ අගතියට එරෙහි විරෝධතාවට බියගමදී සහය දැක්වීමද සිදු විය. ඒ අතර ක්ෂුද්‍ර ණය හේතුවෙන් විපතට පත් කාන්තාවන්ගේ අරගලයට සහය දීම සඳහා හිඟුරක්ගොඩ පැවති වැඩසටහනට එක් වීමද කැපී පෙනේ. 

වැඩි විස්තර සඳහා ඩා බිඳු පුවත් හසුන කියවමු

මැයි ජූනි මාසවල කොවිඩ් ව්‍යසනය මධ්‍යයේ වුව ඔන්ලයින් වැඩසටහන් ගණනාවක් පවත්වමින් ඩා බිඳු මෙහෙවර දියත් වූ අතර ඝාතනයට ලක් වූ රොෂේන් චානක සැමරුම් වැඩසටහනක්ද පැවැත්විණ. ජූලි මාසයේ සිට ඔක්තොම්බර් දක්වා පැවති වැඩසටහන් ගණනාවක නියෝජිතවරිය ලෙස සහභාගී වූ ඩා බිඳු සාමූහිකයේ චමිලා තුෂාරි කම්කරු අයිතීන් සම්බන්ධයෙන් අදහස් දක්වනු ලැබුවාය. නොවැම්බර් මාසයේ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ විශේෂ වාර්තාකරුවා හමු වී පවතින තත්ත්වය පිළිබඳ අදහස් දැක්වීමට ලැබීම මහඟු අවස්ථාවකි.

දෙසැම්බර් මාසයේ කිලිනොච්චියේ වැඩ කරන කාන්තාවන් අත්දැකීම් හුවමාරුව සඳහා නුවරඑළිය දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ චාරිකාවක නිරත වූ අතර සියලු පහසුකම් සම්පාදනය කරන ලද්දේ ඩා බිඳු සාමූහිකයයි.

to top