Sri Lanka: Labour Behind the Label calls on Next to respect workers’ rights after brand allegedly fails to recognise and engage with garment workers’ union
“Workers at a Next factory in Sri Lanka have unionised! But Next refuses to recognise the union” February 2021
In January 2021, following a successful action to win back unpaid bonuses, workers at a factory owned by Next formed a new branch of the FTZ&GSEU trade union. Workers reported intimidation, threats and discrimination, but stood firm and now nearly half the workers are members.
Workers can improve conditions through collective action!
In December 2020, before the trade union branch was set up, the workers walked out over unpaid bonuses – money workers rely on as their poverty wages are not enough to survive on. As a result of this collective action, Next agreed to pay up.
Worker’s must be able to form unions in order to negotiate with their employers. It is essential in the fight for better working conditions for garment workers that Next formally recognises and engages with the workers’ union, respecting and not undermining their right to collective bargaining through a trade union they have freely chosen to join.