Relief allowance stops for factory workers
While workers in some of the factories in the Board of Investment (BOI) zones are said to be provided increments, a recent economic relief allowance has been withdrawn, unions allege.
FTZ Union leader Anton Marcus told the Business Times that most factories have stopped paying the economic relief allowance since the start of this year.
The economic relief allowance was paid to workers in factories since last year following the economic crisis.
Mr. Marcus also noted that due to the continued reduction in their income levels, most workers are compelled to quit.
However, FTZ Manufacturers Association Secretary Dhammika Fernando explained that this is not a compulsory payment that they need to make.
He also pointed out that most factories are not performing well and working only 4-5 days a week and have already provided an increment this year as well and hence may not be in a position to provide this increased allowance as well. The BOI factories in the garment sector are currently faced with a severe reduction in orders as a result of which the workers are asked to report to work only on a few days of the week.
Sri Lanka’s own economic crisis and the problems that persist have caused a drop in orders since last year.
In the meantime, the FTZ workers are said to have not joined in the Black Protest held this week by the public sector unions since private sector demands were not included in the protest, Mr. Marcus said.
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