Monday, March 16, 2009

Global recession hits Lanka: Companies cut workforce

Global recession which had taken a stranglehold on the world economy has spread its tentacles in Sri Lanka too forcing 16 leading business ventures to lay off their entire workforce while 29 companies have retrenched part of the staff, Inter Company Employees’ Union said.

Among the companies which had laid off their entire work force are several garment factories and manufacturers of aluminium products and tiles. Companies located in remote areas such as Anuradhapura had also been forced to close down because of the global economic downturn

Some manufacturers of apparels, cement, cloth, plywood and bags have reduced their workforce while the others have warned of possible retrenchment after the Sinhala-Hindu New Year in April.

ICEU President Wasantha Samarasinghe, a former JVP parliamentarian told Daily Mirror the export volumes of some companies had dwindled by 80 per cent, and as a result were compelled to suspend their business operations.

Mr. Samarasinghe said his union identified the business ventures which stopped the overtime work of their employees or sent them home on compulsory leave following the financial crisis.

He said a leading cement manufacturer had curtailed its production by 40 per cent while the export earnings of a ceramic product manufacturing plant had come down by 30 per cent.

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