Indralatha Perera, Machine Operator, Dem Collective

Indralatha Perera

Machine Operator, Dem Collective

I HAVE BEEN WORKING AT DEM COLLECTIVE SINCE JANUARY 1ST, 2006. I AM HAPPY TO WORK HERE AND DO MY BEST FOR A COMPANY LIKE DEM COLLECTIVE.

We have six sewing machine operators: Mrs. Wasanthi, Mrs. Indralatha, Mrs. Nilanthie, Mrs. Shathshka, Mrs. Pathma and Mr. Athula. Mr. Athula is in charge of sample making and helping the machine operators with Production. Mrs. Kamanie is in charge of Quality Control of the finished garments, helping machine operators learn easy stitching methods and supervising the cutting of the fabrics. Mrs. Radhika is responsible for maintaining the stock at the factory, and she helps with Production work too. Then we have one Production Assistant, Mrs. Preethika, who is responsible for trimming, ironing, putting out layers of cut fabrics and sometimes, stitching.

Our factory is near Kadawatha, 15 km from Colombo. There are nearly 10 garment factories within 6 km, but Dem Collective is different: The main difference is wage. Our basic salary is LKR 11,500 and others pay LKR 6,000 to 7,500. If we work more than eight hours we get overtime, but other at other factories, workers have to work ten hours to earn overtime. Our production target numbers are based on the actual capacity of the employees and the quality of the garment, but at other garment factories the targets are based on the order quantity and cost of the garment. Usually, we give loans of a maximum of LKR 25,000 without interest for employees after one year, but most other garment factories do not have this arrangement. The working environment at our factory is peaceful.

The above is as told to Jenni Avins, via e-mail from Dammika Niroshenie.