abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

25 Mar 2021


Brief: Complaint filed with IFC regarding investment in Brandix Lanka LTD

...As a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, the IFC makes private sector investments and mobilizes additional third party investments towards private sector projects that create development outcomes. Its proposed grantee Brandix owns and operates a factory where a sweeping industrial COVID-19 outbreak occurred in October 2020.

The Brandix COVID-19 outbreak presented a serious threat to its workers’ health and safety. Brandix detected a COVID-19 outbreak at its factory in Minuwangoda [“Brandix Minuwangoda”] on October 2, 2020. Within a week, 1,000 of 1,400 workers at Brandix Minuwangoda had tested positive for COVID-19. The Brandix COVID outbreak was a superspreader event that sparked the country’s first major COVID wave since the initial onset of the pandemic in March 2020. From October 2020 to February 2021, daily COVID-19 case counts in Sri Lanka exploded from 6 to 806 people infected per day at their peak. Sri Lankan government authorities are continuing to investigate Brandix and its role in the outbreak but have provided no public updates about the status of such investigations.

As discussed in this brief, together with GLJ-ILRF, the six Sri lankan trade unions and workers’ organizations — three of whom directly represent Brandix workers — have filed a complaint with the IFC requesting that the IFC revise the Environmental & Social Action Plan for Project 44341 in light of the Brandix COVID-19 outbreak in order to ensure the possibility of compliance with IFC Performance Standard 2 - Labor and Working Conditions [“PS2”], which protects workers’ rights both to safe and healthy workplaces and to freedom of association, two issues the Sri Lankan trade unions and workers’ organizations have raised with the IFC.

The six Sri Lankan unions and workers’ organizations that filed the complaint are Stand Up Workers’ Union, Dabindu Collective, Revolutionary Existence for Human Development (RED), Ceylon Mercantile Industrial & General Workers Union (CMU), Commercial and Industrial Workers’ Union (CIWU), and National Union of Seafarers - Sri Lanka (NUSS). Together, they represent over 26,000 workers in Sri Lanka’s industrial sector including garment manufacturing