A top Sri Lankan trade union group fighting for the rights of apparel workers has welcomed a recent statement by an industry body over the value of labour rights and GSP plus concessions. In a letter sent to Yohan Lawrence, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association, Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of the Free [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Trade union welcomes industry group call for GSP +

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A top Sri Lankan trade union group fighting for the rights of apparel workers has welcomed a recent statement by an industry body over the value of labour rights and GSP plus concessions.

In a letter sent to Yohan Lawrence, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association, Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union, referred to Mr Lawrence’s comment in last week’s Business Times report headlined “Implement LLRC proposals – urge garment exporters.”

“ (this comment) was also encouraging and thus prompts this letter to you. We appreciate very much your position that labour rights are also important in regaining GSP Plus”, the letter said.

The union said it firmly believes that GSP Plus could be regained if there is a comprehensive programme that addresses the issues the apparel sector chief has mentioned like labour issues. “When GSP Plus was being reviewed in 2010, we were hopeful Sri Lanka could retain the concession through a ‘Road Map’ that would address the issues raised by the EU.

The ‘Road Map’ could be the responsibility of the government, the employers through their associations and the workers through their unions,” the union said seeking a discussion with the association on a collective approach towards re-applying for the lost facility.




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