Sri Lanka - the economic crisis and justice for garment workers

by AGHub Admin last modified 2023-03-10T10:36:41+07:00

The TUC has been working with GMB and Unite to develop an innovative approach to organising within the garment industry in Leicester to help tackle the criminality and exploitation that has for too long blighted the sector.

We are cognisant of the fact that Leicester does not operate in isolation and that the textile industry operates on global supply chains. Consequently, to ultimately deliver justice for garment workers in Leicester we need to be able to work cross borders to fully understand the economic model that brands are operating in, to learn how we can provide solidarity with fellow textile workers and to learn lessons on how we better organise vulnerable, often female, marginalised workers.

As such, the TUC joined a War on Want delegation to Sri Lanka in 2022 to explore these issues further. The country has been gripped by an economic and political crisis, with working people set to face the brunt of changes to labour law, union busting and economic challenges.

The workshop will be the first follow up activity, with further activities planned for later in the year. This initial workshop will serve two functions:

1. To provide a briefing about the challenges in Sri Lanka and the commonality with the UK garment industry

2. To facilitate a round table discussion about how UK unions and other civil society organisations can work strategically across borders with sister unions & organisations to build worker voice and power.

The workshop will hear directly from Sri Lanka colleagues via zoom, some of whom may form part of a future delegation visit to the region.