Basic wage of plantation workers scrapped: employers bring other proposals!

(Translated by Akitha Wijayasinghe)
Plantation employers have not yet agreed to increase the basic salary of plantation workers by more than 700 rupees, and instead have proposed several alternatives to the government.
Accordingly, the Plantation Employers’ Federation has stated that a daily wage of Rs. 1025 can be paid with the basic salary maintained at Rs. 700 per day, Rs. 105 as provident fund, Rs. 70 as attendance allowance, Rs. 70 as production allowance and Rs 75 as price share supplements.
Otherwise, a daily wage of Rs. 1000 could be paid with the basic salary set at Rs. 700, a provident and attendance allowance of Rs. 150, a production allowance of Rs.150. However, the employers’ federation has not yet agreed to pay Rs. 1,000 a day as the basic salary.
All discussions between the employers’ federation, the trade unions and the Minister of Labor in this regard, have failed so far. Labor Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has informed the Cabinet that if the employers’ federation does not respond positively, the matter will be referred to the Wages Board.
Many upcountry civil society organizations, including the Plantation Workers’ Rights Protection Movement, are protesting in the hills, demanding the government to pay the Rs.1000 a day promised to plantation workers as a basic salary from January 2021.
The protests will continue until plantation workers are paid a basic salary of Rs. 1000 and provided 25 working days a month, the Upcountry Civil Society Unions’ President, S.P.T. Ganeshalingam said.
He further stated that although the budget also proposed a salary of Rs.1000 for plantation workers several rounds of discussions between the government, plantation companies and the plantation unions have failed so far. The government should intervene in this matter and carry out further discussions to pay the plantation workers a daily wage of Rs. 1000 and other allowances and to provide them with 25 working days a month, he added.

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