The Sunday Leader

Planters’ Association Rejects Wage Concerns

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon has rejected concerns raised over the wage paid to employees in the estate sector.

The wage earned by estate employees as stated in the article is incorrect and it contradicts the wage formula contained in the Collective Agreement entered into between the trade unions, the Employers Federation of Ceylon and the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) point out.

The Planters’ Association says daily plucking norms have been established on most plantations depending on the yield of the respective fields and can be as low as 12 kg of green leaf going up to 20 kg or more.  However the Planters’ Association says no employee is deprived of his/her full wage for bringing less than the stipulated norm while any excess is paid for at the rate of Rs. 20 per kg.

There are as at date approximately 980,000 residents on the plantations managed by the RPCs of whom only 220,000 are workers and the reduction in the workforce over the last decade has not been due to workers being laid off but rather due to them opting for alternate employments outside the estate while continuing to reside and derive all the benefits provided by the companies which include housing, water service, sanitation, healthcare and childcare facilities at Child Development Centres.

The Planters’ Association says, with the intervention of the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), over 60% of houses in RPC-controlled estates have been newly constructed or upgraded by re-roofing/other infrastructure enhancements and work on the remaining houses are ongoing. (ER)

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