Plantation workers to launch indefinite strike

Plantation workers are to launch an indefinite strike from tomorrow after plantation companies refused to agree to Rs. 1000 as the daily wage.

Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) had decided not to agree to pay estate workers Rs. 1,000 as a daily wage despite demands by the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and trade unions.

The President-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met plantation company owners on Thursday and looked to reach a compromise on the issue as estate workers continued to strike demanding a wage hike to Rs. 1,000.

The unions are asking for Rs. 1,000 as a basic wage up from the current Rs. 500.

At the meeting, the plantation companies proposed that unions agree to Rs. 940 as an all inclusive package or a revenue share model as the companies cannot afford to pay Rs. 1,000 as a basic daily wage.

However, Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) Leader Arumugam Thondaman, who was at the meeting, said the unions would not agree to anything short of Rs. 1,000 as a basic daily wage.

On Thursday, Rajapaksa gave the plantation companies time till today to discuss and submit a solution acceptable to all concerned.

However, it was reported that on Thursday evening the RPCs had a closed-door meeting at the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC).

At the meeting, the RPCs had decided they would not agree to pay Rs. 1,000 to the estate workers, as doing so would result in them running at a loss.

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