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Plantation wage agreement signed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 16:26

The plantation industry stakeholders yesterday signed the new wage agreement that will see the basic daily wage increase to Rs. 700.

The agreement signing was done with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman, Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) General Secretary S. Ramanathan, representatives of the Ceylon Employers Federation and other stakeholders. 

Last week, plantation worker trade unions and Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) reached a settlement to increase the basic daily wage to Rs. 700, with a Rs. 100 million pledge by the Government to help companies pay three months’ wage arrears. 

The trade unions, which earlier called for a Rs. 1000 basic wage, brought down their demand to accept the offer by RPCs to increase the basic wage to Rs. 700, up Rs. 75 from their earlier offer of Rs. 625. The Collective Agreement on the wage negotiations was signed yesterday, while discussions on the General Agreement, dealing with other aspects of plantation employees’ welfare, will also commence in the coming weeks. 

The representatives from Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU) and Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) present at the meeting agreed to the Rs. 700 basic wage offered, with a Rs. 20 increase from the current Rs. 30 in Price Share Supplement (PSS), totalling a total daily wage of Rs. 750. The negotiations also saw an increase in payment for additional output by Rs. 15 per kilo.

The new wage formula will only include the daily basic wage, PSS and over-kilo rate, while both attendance incentive and productivity incentive have been removed. The RPCshave also agreed to pay the arrears in wage payments from October, when the Collective Agreement signed in 2016 lapsed. In a bid to ease the financial burden on the companies, Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake has agreed to allocate Rs. 150 million from Tea Board funds to finance the payments.

Despite the agreement members of the ‘1000 Movement’ held a protest in front of the Ceylon Employers Federation in Rajagiriya.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 16:51