Thursday, 25 June 2020 07:41

PM to chair crucial meeting on estate worker wage hike today

A crucial meeting to increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs. 1,000 from Rs. 700 will be held today under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees.

Today's meeting is a follow-up to a discussion held with industry stakeholders last week by the Premier, who highlighted the delay in the daily wage hike and the challenges faced by them at present.

During this meeting, a request was made by Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Secretary Jeewan Thondaman to increase the daily wage to Rs. 1,000, which comprises of Rs. 700 basic salary with additional grants of price share supplement, productivity incentive, and attendance incentive.

The Rs. 1,000 wage increase was first promised during the Presidential Election campaign by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to win support from the estate worker community.

The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) could not agree to provide Rs. 1,000 despite several requests made by estate workers and unions, noting the financial and economic constraints.

As last week’s meeting concluded with no final decision, Prime Minister advised the relevant authorities to give a proper solution, while calling on RPCs to reconsider the request to arrive at a final agreement today.

Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana, Prime Minister’s Secretary Gamini Senerath, Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Jayampathy Molligoda, Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry Secretary D.P.G. Kumarasiri, Public Enterprises Director General Athula Kumara, Janatha Estates Development Board Chairman D.B. Abeysuriya, State Plantation Corporation Srimal Wijesekara, Hayleys Chairman Dhammika Perera, Mathurata Plantation Chairman Kithsiri Gunawardena, and Kahawatte Plantation Company Chairman Merril J. Fernando also participated at the meeting held last week.

(FT)

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