June 9, 2011/ by Dasun Edirisinghe
The Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU) has written to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), in Athens, about the police attack on a workers’ protest, which killed one employee and injured more than 300 at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Katunayake.
General Secretary of the ICEU Janaka Adikari said that the government had used armed police to disperse their protest against the proposed private sector pension Bill on May 30 at Katunayake.
In his letter to the WFTU, Adikari has said that the ‘capitalist’ government wanted to establish a pension system for the private sector employees, but it was fraudulent and will not benefit the employees in anyway.
The government was to table the Bill in Parliament without consulting the trade unions or the employees, he has said.
“Not only our trade union, pro-government trade unions too opposed the Bill,” Adikari has written.
Since the employees were against it, thousands of workers took to the streets only to be attacked by the police in a brutal manner, Adhikari has written.
Police fired live bullets at the protesters killing one employee, Adikari has said adding that more than 300 including pregnant female employees were injured in the police attack.
He has alleged that the employees arrested by the police after the attack were tortured at police stations.
According to him, the factory owners in the export processing zone said that the factories including foreign investments had been damaged by the police who entered the factory premises in search of employees engaged in protests.
“We believe that Sri Lanka, as a member State of the UN and the ILO has violated the conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO,” Adikari has asserted in his letter.