Planters’ Association to file objections to proposed wage hike

Friday, 3 May 2024 00:32 –      – 33

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The Planters’ Association of Ceylon yesterday confirmed its intention to file objections to proposed wage hike within the designated timeframe set by the Labour Commissioner.

The move comes in response to widespread media coverage following Gazette No. 2382/04 published on 30 April about proposed wage increases for tea growing and manufacturing trade and rubber and raw rubber manufacturing trade and subsequent remarks made by the President in a speech delivered on 1 May at Kotagala to commemorate Labour Day, which will be applicable for the Regional Plantation Company (RPC) workers too.

Expressing deep concern, the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka and its members warned the President’s remarks may be misunderstood and lead workers and the public to assume that a final decision has been taken in this matter when it has not.

“Given the facts stated in the gazette notification, the implication in media reports that the increased payments will be applicable from 1 May 2024, is inaccurate and misleading. Neither the effective date on which the new proposed minimum payment will be applicable, nor the quantum of such payment has, as yet been determined,” the statement read.

The 30 April 2024 gazette notification states that the Commissioner General of Labour “intends to determine minimum payment in respect of the workers engaged in the Tea Growing and Manufacturing trade. Objections to the proposed determination will be received until 15 May 2024.”

The Association noted that both notifications make clear provisions for all stakeholders including Regional Plantation Companies, to make comments or raise objections to the details listed in the Schedule attached to the gazette notification.

According to the new Gazette Extraordinary, the daily wage stands at Rs. 1,350, with an additional daily special allowance of Rs. 350, reflecting a total of Rs. 1,700 whilst Rs. 80 is provided for each additional kilo.