The Chairman and the Executive Committee of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) in a statement said it stands by its member Brandix Lanka at this difficult time. Following is the statement:
“The SLAEA is the oldest association in the industry, and Brandix Lanka is a pioneer member with an established track record in the areas of Health and Safety and Employee welfare.
Brandix Lanka is one of Sri Lanka’s leading apparel exporters adding value and improving welfare to communities across the island. The recent outbreak in one of their factories is an entirely unfortunate incident, as no company or industry will intentionally put their workforce or the members of the general public at risk.
“The apparel sector is one of the country’s largest exporting sectors, generating an income of over $5 billion a year while providing employment opportunities to one million Sri Lankans direct and indirectly. Our industry is proud of setting the bar high in working standards and benefits for the workforce and our ‘Garments without Guilt’ initiative is globally recognised.
“As a nation, we owe much to the apparel sector workers, who during the height of the pandemic have discharged their duties to Sri Lanka, to bring in much-needed foreign exchange to the country. The Apparel Industry has manufactured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks and medical gowns for our very own healthcare workers and armed forces. The apparel industry also stepped-up during the peak of COVID-19 by donating funds, equipment and lending certain facilities to be used as quarantine centres by the Government. At this time of crisis while wishing all affected parties a speedy recovery, SLAEA urges the public to be more compassionate and respectful towards all families who have been impacted by this unfortunate situation. These incidents will have financial stress on all stakeholders and impacted other apparel companies and its employees.
“We thank the health authorities and the law enforcing institutions for the prompt action taken to contain the situation. We express our solidarity with the Brandix Group and all the employees. In these challenging times we should stand together to overcome this crisis faced by our nation and its economy.”