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.