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Tribunal to hear wage woes of apparel workers
24
Mar '11
In Sri Lanka, a people's tribunal has been set up to hear representations about wages and other related issues affecting workers of apparel industry.

The tribunal will hear representations from garment workers, trade union representatives, members of the public and experts on wages and related issues for three days from March 27, 2011.

This tribunal is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and will be followed by more such bodies for national hearings in the coming months.

Announcing the decision, The Apparel industry Labor Rights Movement (ALARM) told that the tribunal had local and foreign judges as the members. The tribunal has been set up in collaboration with the Asia Floor Wage Campaign.

The tribunal has been set up after a regional movement to raise the industry's wages was launched. For Sri Lanka, the apparel industry is the biggest export earner but like many other countries, workers don't get enough wages.

Considering the plights of workers in Asia, some Union leaders and labor activists in Asia came together to start a movement for the global garment industry in 2005. For that, discussions started in India and other countries began to join.

During the discussion, wages of workers emerged as the key issue. So the concept of the Asia Floor Wage was mooted. To make it realistic, meetings at different places in North America, United States and Europe were organized with the help of several other partners.

After great efforts for two years, most of the countries endorsed the idea. As a result, what began

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