Local employees of Port City accuse officials of discrimination

Local employees of the Colombo Port City staged a protest today accusing officials of discrimination.

They claimed that several local employees have been shut out of the premises and not paid while Chinese employees are paid.

The protest was staged for a third day today.

Protesters said that Labour Department officials had visited the premises yesterday (Tuesday) yet the matter was not resolved.

The protesters accused the Chinese of refusing to comply with Sri Lankan labour laws.

Meanwhile, Port City said that a group of people were protesting against a legal decision made by a contractor of Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd regarding the termination of their contracts and dispute on accepting new health regulations imposed by the Government.

This contractual and regulatory dispute has arisen between a contractor company and its employees which CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the project invest or company, have no direct connection with.

“It comes as a shock to us that the group of workers involved in this incident have resorted to such a course of action instead of resolving their issues through formal and legal means with their employer,” Port City said.

As the only project that continued to operate in Sri Lanka during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Port City Colombo says it is committed to ensuring the job security of over 1,500 local employees working at the construction site.

“Due to these sentiments, we are very much dismayed by a protest of this nature. As a reputed and law abiding corporate citizen of this country, we strongly deny and object to the baseless claims made by the protestors such as the lack of medical facilities, sanitation and discrimination of local workers on site. We are committed to equal and fair treatment to all workers regardless of their nationality,” Port City said.

It also said that the Sri Lankan workforce at the site is above 80% and the expat workers are only involved with specialized work which requires experience in handling relevant machineries. (Colombo Gazette)