Apparel workers well looked after
The average maintenance cost per worker in the local apparel sector
is three times higher than other countries in the region.
CEO of Orit Apparels Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and Board member, BOI Channa P.
Palansuriya said comparing with other countries in the region local
apparel industry bears the highest average of maintaining cost per
worker. "The average maintaining cost per worker is USD 150 to USD 200
in Sri Lanka and this is USD 60 in countries like Bangladesh and China,"
The minimum wages of a worker is also higher than the wages paid by
the other countries in the region. "At present the minimum wage of a
worker in the apparel industry is Rs 6750 and average wage is Rs 12500.
Companies in the local apparel industry invest heavily in workers'
welfare and improve their working environments. Most of the companies
provide meals and other facilities to their workers," he said.
Speaking at the launch of "Abhimani", campaign to pay tribute to all
the dedicated women who work in the apparel industry he said there is a
trend of many workers moving towards the job opportunities available in
garment factories in their hometown.
"There are 12,000 job opportunities in the local apparel industry.
Average retention rate of these workers is five years. The country will
honour these dedicated women through the Abhimani campaign.
It will shed light on many services rendered by young women who work
in the garment sector, one of the country's biggest income generators.
The young females in the sector, from the machine operators to female
executives are all responsible for earning the largest export revenues
in their country," he added.
"This is a public and private sector initiative and the total
investment for the campaign is Rs 29 million," he said.
Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum JAAF, Ajith Dias
said, the apparel sector, which generates 45 per cent of the country's
export earnings, is almost completely powered by women.
"The industry directly employs nearly 300,000 people. Through this
campaign industry expects to have proper recognition of the workers in
the apparel industry and create positive attitude among society," he
"Many of the employees undergo training in technology, human
resources development and soft skills development and are able to take
advantage of a range of schemes and services provided to them by their
employers. The industry provides ample opportunities mainly for female
employees to progress in their career," he added.
CEO of Ogilvy Action Sandya Salgado said research conducted prior to
the campaign showed that there is a positive attitude among rural masses
on workers in the industry.
"We spoke to school heads, monks in the villages. They believe that
women who work in the apparel industry drives the national economy and
plays important role in the society. We also identified that public need
to be educated more on the skills and carrier development in this
sector," she said.
The campaign will be officially launched on World Women's Day and
will continue for five to six months covering all parts of the country.