Holiday to sabotage union referendum
Following the registration of their union at the Mirrai factory, union members have been intimidated and transferred. When the union asked for a referendum to establish its right to be a collective bargaining agent for the workers, the management declared the day of the referendum a holiday and intimidated the workers. As a result there were hardly any workers to vote. The union decided to withdraw from the referendum. The referendum proceeded without the union's participation, and the union was declared to have lost the vote.
J Crew, the brand buying from Mirrai, intervened after being contacted by the trade union FTZ&GSEU, the Clean Clothes Campaign, and global union IndustriAll. Despite this, the factory management refused any form of mediation for several months. In the end this resulted in the withdrawal of orders from the factory by this buyer.
J Crew has explained that the reason it will no longer place orders at the factory is not the allegations brought to it by the union, but rather Mirrai’s failure to partner with J Crew to remedy the violation of workers' rights.
Don't blame the whistle blower: Mirrai responsible for loss of orders
IndustriALL and Clean Clothes Campaign’s letter to the Employers Federation of Ceylon