The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) has denied allegations of labour abuse in the plantation sector.
While the PA acknowledges that irregularities in performance and standards across the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) are bound to emerge from time to time – given the large numbers of the resident population and the wide dispersion of the estates – the PA notes that the vast majority of the sector is not only successfully enduring unprecedented challenges, but also working sincerely to resolve socio-economic disparities within estate communities.
“These efforts are being carefully balanced against the financial limitations of an industry that is in turn subject to challenging international market dynamics. This is no mean feat, and constructive criticism is not only required, but welcome. However informed debate must at the very least take into consideration the actual viewpoints of all stakeholders and be based on claims that are substantiated by verifiable data,” PA said in a statement.
In relation to allegations that worker wages were “halved” if employees arrived more than 15 minutes late to work or “paid for a half day” if they failed to meet the plucking norm, the PA notes with disappointment that such allegations totally disregard facts on the ground and display a failure to grasp even the most basic structure of the Collective Agreement that dictates the method and rate of payment. (Colombo Gazette)