Australian-based manufacturer of medical gloves and condoms, Ansell is attacking workers in its supply chain. Suspending 800 striking trade union members in Sri Lanka and replacing them with contracted scabs puts a bad stain on Ansell’s products that are exported throughout the world.
IndustriALL Global Union is mobilising solidarity behind its Sri Lankan affiliate, the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU). The FTZGSEU has organised and defended the workers at the Ansell Lanka Ltd factory in the Biyagama Export Promotion Zone for 20 years. Ansell has an ugly history of union busting at the factory since 1994, when management refused to recognise FTZGSEU as the legitimate bargaining partner that led to demonstrations in which one worker was shot dead by police.
The Ansell management is trying to bust the union. The branch union president and other office bearers have been sacked; the branch union president was assaulted, Sri Lankan authorities have been ignored, and IndustriALL’s offer for remediation was turned down.