Brandix yet to decide on date | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Resuming Minuwangoda operations:

Brandix yet to decide on date

15 November, 2020

Brandix is yet to determine the date of reopening the Minuwangoda plant. Our top priority at this juncture is the welfare of our employees, a senior official of the company told the Sunday Observer Business elaborating on the current status of the company following the detection of the first Covid-19 affected employee at its Minuwangoda factory in October.He said reopening the facility and recommencing operations will be in line with the direction of the health authorities and supervision of the Government, and until such time, the facility will continue to remain closed for operations.

“However, while the factory remains closed, our employees will continue to be paid in full throughout this period,” he said, adding that the company is mindful that the virus we are faced with is new and evolving, and we are all learning of the efficacy of our processesas we operate in these challenging times.The official said that Brandix has strict health and safety protocols in place, in line with the regulatory authorities of Sri Lanka, including a protocol for the prevention and control of Covid-19 across all our 27 facilities islandwide. The emphasis at all our plants has been and will continue to be, strict adherence to the protocol. 

The health and safety measures include conducting periodic detailed pre-screening to identify any potential risk individuals, providing dedicated transport from home to factory and back to limit public contact, temperature checks when getting into the transport vehicles, temperature checks using thermal cameras at the entry to each facility, conducting mid-day temperature checks, and regular sanitisation of common areas such as washrooms, lobbies, and cafeterias.

Preventive measures of maintaining one-metre social distancing, wearing of masks,frequent handwashing and hand sanitisation have been strictly reinforced amongst our employee population, and we have invested substantially in PPE and infrastructure such as thermal cameras across our facilities since the Covid-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka from March 2020. “We have Occupational Health and Safety Committees to address any matters pertaining to health and safety across our manufacturing facilities, comprising factory leadership, medical nurses, representatives of service providers and representatives from each department.

The committee is chaired by the Plant Safety Officer and meetings are held monthly. Over the last three years, we have invested Rs. 685 million on health and safety initiatives to ensure a safe work environment for our employees and society,” he said, adding the factory employees are the lifeblood of our organisation and we will do everything in our

power to keep them safe while we navigate the reality of the “new normal.” Operating a business in this environment is difficult, especially one that is labour intensive. However, the pandemic has given us the opportunity to unlearn and relearn, and we will emerge out of this crisis as an agile and focused unit ready to face the realities of a new tomorrow. 

 On the impact of the crisis on the company’s earnings and the overall operations the official said this is an unprecedented situation for our company. While the loss of revenue to the company is significant, our primary focus from the beginning has been on supporting our affected employees and their families. We are also extending our fullest cooperation to the authorities to contain further spread of the virus. Once these efforts are completed, we will assess the wider impact of the situation and determine the next course of action for our business.   

 On the plans to resume recoup and revive businesses he said whilst this incident has impacted our production, our teams have been working diligently to reschedule the impacted orders and ensure minimal disruption for our customers. We are grateful that our customers have been extremely understanding and cooperative throughout this period. We are all navigating unprecedented times and our customer support throughout this pandemic has been a significant source of strength.  “We also remain grateful to the Government and health authorities, the Security Forces, and all other Government agencies including the BOI (Board of Investment) for the support extended to our employees, their families, and the community during this time of crisis,”’ he said.

However, an investigation to probe the Brandix cluster has been called by the authorities.Brandix  is one of South Asia’s largest clothing manufacturers, employing over 53,000 workers across Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh  and it is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest apparel exporters to leading high street brands in the UK.