Govt. gazettes Rs. 1,700 minimum wage for plantation workers

Thursday, 23 May 2024 03:08 –      – 31

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The Government has gazetted the increase in the minimum wage for plantation workers to Rs. 1,700, effective from Tuesday night (21).

The announcement, documented in Gazette notification number 2385/14, was issued with the signature of the Labour and Foreign Employment Ministry Secretary.

The move follows previous Gazette No. 2382/04, published on 30 April 2024, which outlined proposed wage increases for workers in the tea growing, manufacturing trade, and rubber and raw rubber manufacturing trade.

On 1 May President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced a sharp hike of 70% in the daily wage for plantation workers to Rs. 1,700 during the May Day rally of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) in Kotagala.

According to the April Gazette Extraordinary, the new daily wage structure includes a base wage of Rs. 1,350, a daily special allowance of Rs. 350, totalling Rs. 1,700. Additionally, workers will receive Rs. 80 for each additional kilo produced.

On 2 May 2024, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon announced its intention to file objections to the proposed wage hike within the designated timeframe set by the Labour Commissioner.

The Association noted that both the recent and previous notifications allow for all stakeholders, including Regional Plantation Companies, to submit comments or objections to the details listed in the schedule attached to the Gazette notification.

The Government argued that the wage increase is a significant development for plantation workers, aiming to improve their livelihoods and address longstanding wage concerns in the sector. However, industry stakeholders highlight the financial difficulties they already encounter due to high production costs, noting that the new wage structure will exacerbate these pressures.

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