Estate workers salary demands:
Fresh talks today
The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) yesterday said they have not given
instructions to their members to resort to Trade Union action or engage
in unlawful activities in the Estates in the back drop of employers’
failure to come to an agreement over its demands for a salary hike.
Addressing a press briefing in Colombo, CWC leader and Youth
Empowerment and Socio Economic Development Minister Arumugam Thondaman
categorically denied such a move and said any element involved in the
disruption of day to day activities of the Esates would be punished by
“Our Trade Union membership has exercised utmost restraint and they
have not engaged in violent activities such as damaging Estate
properties. The law enforcement authorities should take action if such
things happen in the estates,” the Minister said.
He said negotiations over the salary hike of estate workers entered a
new phase with the Estate Employers’ Association agreeing to increase
the daily wage of Estate employee from Rs. 260 to Rs. 360. “This is a
positive development and we hope they will agree to our key demand to
increase the daily wage from Rs. 260 to Rs. 500 soon,” he said.
The Minister said the employers have invited them to discuss further
this issue at a meeting scheduled today at 11.00 a.m,.
“I am quite confident that this demand can be won. We are negotiating
with the employers and are hopeful that they will agree to our key
demand,” he said.
“As politicians from the estate sector, we are also responsible for
the appalling conditions in the estate sector. There should be an
attitudinal change in the minds of the younger generation to uplift the
conditions of the people in the estate sector.”
The Minister said he has launched a number of projects aimed at
eradicating poverty in the Estate sector and these projects are