Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the issue had been debated for several years.
He said that since the Government had promised a wage increase in the 2021 budget, the Cabinet decided to ensure the Rs. 1000 daily wage is provided.
The Cabinet decided that in the event plantation companies are unable to pay the Rs. 1000 daily wage then steps will be taken to address the issue through the salaries and wages board.
Plantation companies and the Government have so far failed to reach an agreement to pay Rs. 1000 as a daily wage to plantation workers.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had proposed in the 2021 Budget that the daily wage be increased to Rs. 1000 from January this year.
However, plantation companies had recently proposed a fixed wage of Rs. 700 a day and other productivity and attendance incentives.
Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Vice President Senthil Thondaman had said that the proposal made by the plantation companies cannot be accepted.
Thondaman said that the wage proposal made by plantation companies is based on probabilities and is not fixed.
He said that the CWC has met the Minster of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva and demanded that the matter be placed before the Wages Board.
Plantation companies said the proposed fixed daily wage model will be implemented 3 days a week, and on the remaining days, Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) have called for one of two productivity-based models to be implemented based on how suitable they would be to each RPC’s unique capacity.
“They don’t understand what a wage increase is. They are trying to act too smart. We strongly oppose their proposal,” Senthil Thondaman said.
He insisted that the wage increase must be fixed and cannot be based on productivity or incentives. (Colombo Gazette)