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

18 Jun 2021

Clean Clothes Campaign

Sri Lanka: FTZ&GSEU secure union recognition for workers at Next factory following months-long campaign & international union solidarity movement

“A union rights win for Next workers in Sri Lanka!”, 18 June 2021

After months of fighting for Next to formally recognise the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Unions branch union within the Next Manufacturing Ltd (NML) factory, workers from the NML factory in Sri Lanka have finally secured victory…

Next has confirmed recognition of the FTZ & GSEU Union as representative of its workers in the NML Katunayake factory and will engage with them in collective bargaining … As the third wave of Covid 19 in Sri Lanka is severely affecting factory workers … brands including Next must ensure workers' voices are listened to and included in measures to protect their health.

Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary for FTZ & GSEU Union says:

"... This … achievement of joint action … shows that when workers are determined to organise collectively with other workers, nationally and internationally, they will not be defeated.

The Next employees' struggle is particularly inspiring, as employers are trying to use the pandemic to bust unions. Despite this, employees were able to sustain their unity under tremendous pressure…"

This victory demonstrates the power of international solidarity. Thousands of activists joined War on Want, Labour Behind the Label and the Pay Your Workers/Respect Labour Rights campaign for union recognition, amplifying workers’ demands and ensuring that Next received the message that they must respect workers’ rights. To the activists from across the world who signed petitions, sent a letter, or picked up the phone to tell Next to recognise the union: Thank you. Together we are strong and can secure worker wins!