Impact of COVID-19 on employment: FTZ unions seek response
Organisations and unions working on behalf of free trade zone (FTZ) and manpower workers, called on the Government, the Ministries of Health and Labour, the Presidential Task Force to combat COVID-19, the Board of Investment and the Ministry level (tripartite) Task Force to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on employment.
“Provide urgent relief rations, essentials and medicines to workers in mandatory self-quarantine. Conduct an immediate survey/needs assessment of workers in and around the FTZs, including on manpower workers. Provide Rs 10,000 health allowance for FTZ workers who have lost their jobs, or are currently unable to work due to COVID-19, including manpower workers. Conduct polymerase chain reaction testing on all workers, including manpower workers working in and around the Katunayake FTZs.
Ensure that all Government quarantine facilities and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients are in keeping with international safety standards. Maintain a regular flow of risk communication, including what to expect in case of anyone in the boarding or factory being found COVID-19 positive, or is showing symptoms, and details about Government response and emergency contacts. Ensure that all communication is shared in Sinhala and Tamil. Ensure that workers taken to quarantine centres, in mandatory self-quarantine, and/or have not been able to go to work during the lockdown, are compensated. Publicise and enforce the tripartite agreement on compensation reached during lockdown, decided on at the Joint Task Force meeting. Strictly enforce safety regulations via Government health authorities when factories open and workers are asked to report to work,” they said.