Sri Lanka plantation workers win 18-pct wage hike

Apr 05, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea and rubber estate workers have won an 18 percent hike in their basic daily wage from April 01 effective for two years, which may cost firms in excess of 250 million rupees a year, industry officials said. The basic wage was increased from 380 to 450 rupees a day up 18.4 percent, while an attendance allowance (for 75 percent attendance on days offered work) was increased to 140 rupees a day from 105 rupees, a spokesman for the Employers Federation of Ceylon said.

A so-called price share supplement remained at 30 rupees a day, making the fixed daily wage 480 rupees, up 17 percent.

“I feel that there was a reasonable increase,” Planters Association chief Lalith Obeysekera “Unions have given an undertaking on improving productivity.”

The collective agreement was signed with Ceylon Worker’s Congress, Lanka Jathika Estate Worker’s Union and the Joint Plantations Trade Union Centre.

Unions and employers had reached an agreement after negotiating for one day.

Assuming a worker came to work 75 percent or more days the daily take home would go up 20.3 percent from 515 rupees to 620 rupees. An over-kilo incentive paid when a worker plucks more than the norm for a field had been raised to