Big protest against Bata in Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 September 2004, 10:16 GMT]
More than a thousand Bata workers and rights activists demonstrated in downtown Colombo Wednesday, demanding the giant footwear manufacturer to take back the six hundred employees it sacked two months ago. The demonstrators also urged President Kumaratunga's government to repeal the Termination of Workmen's Services Act, which removes legal safeguards against indiscriminate lay offs by employers, according to organisers of the protest. Traffic was blocked by the protestors in the heart of Colombo's busy business hub.

Protest against Bata in Colombo

Protest against Bata in Colombo
Protest against Bata in Colombo
The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) promised to abolish the Act before it came to power in April this year. The Marxist Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) led vociferous protests against the act when it was in the opposition.

Bata workers charge that JVP "betrayed" them after it came to power. The demonstration was organised by Joint Trade Union Front, a coalition of 42 trade unions, and Alliance to Protect National Resources and Human Rights.


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