On the burden of being-qua-non-being

In-between the lines of (working-class) writings

Authored by: Dhammika Jayawardena

The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organizations

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415821261
eBook ISBN: 9780203566848
Adobe ISBN: 9781136746246


 Download Chapter



It was a sunny morning in May in a small village 30 kilometres off Colombo, Sri Lanka. I was in the human resource manager’s office of an apparel company, a congested partitioned room without a door. The left-side wall of the room was covered by a large poster of a few smiling factory women—‘the employees of the year’. A thoughtful man in his early thirties, the human resource manager, was in his comfortable office chair. He was a graduate of human resource management and was supposed to be a participant of the fieldwork of my doctoral project. I began my dialogue with the manager, a semi-structured interview conducted in Sinhala. The interview was aimed at understanding managing factory women, if not (female) shopfloor labour in the company and Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. The manager narrated:

There is a policy in our company to treat everyone equally. Even if our director 1 comes, there is only one canteen to eat. Even lamai [little ones] eat there. We don’t have separate transport [for workers]. We have the same buses [for everyone]. Employees come in those buses. And lamai also come in those buses. That is a value that ChillCo [pseudonym] appreciates.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.