Ultimatum issued to plantation companies on Rs. 1,000 daily wage

The Government today warned it will not hesitate to take appropriate measures if the plantation companies continue to reject the Rs. 1,000 daily wage for estate workers.

Cabinet co-spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that if the plantation companies refuse to budge then the Government will respond in the same manner.

Meanwhile, Cabinet co-spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the Government will not hesitate to take appropriate measures if the plantation companies refuse to agree to the Rs. 1,000 daily wage for estate workers.

At least 20 plantation companies yesterday filed a writ application before the Court of Appeal seeking an order to invalidate the gazette increasing the daily wage for estate workers to Rs. 1,000.

Planters’ Association (PA) Media Spokesperson Dr. Roshan Rajadurai had said last week that a number of options were being looked into as the tea industry is likely to collapse following the decision taken by the authorities on the daily wage.

“We have been sliding down to oblivion, This will only accelerate the process,” Rajadurai had said.

Rajadurai insisted that plantation companies are running at a loss and they will be compelled to implement drastic cuts.

He said that tea production will most likely be reduced and eventually the quality of the tea will also be affected.

“With this situation we won’t be able to afford to do anything. If anyone can say they can pay Rs. 1000 they must demonstrate how they will do it. We don’t have the capacity to do this,” he said.

Plantation companies had earlier proposed a productivity based wage model to resolve the daily wage issue.

However, following pressure from trade unions and politicians the Government decided to force the plantation companies to pay Rs. 1000 as a daily wage.

The matter was taken to the Wages Board and despite objections raised, it was decided to enforce the Rs. 1000 daily wage. (Colombo Gazette)

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