TUs want more time to study revenue sharing model
With the battle for a wage hike still raging, estate sector trade
unions are not willing to accept the model proposed by the Regional
Plantation Companies (RPCs).
President, Ceylon Workers Congress, Muttu Sivalingam told the Sunday
Observer that the existing wage scheme should be considered first and
then a time line should be set to discuss the new revenue sharing model
of the RPCs.
He said the trade unions should be given time to study the new
proposals introduced by the RPCs without rushing to implement it.
“We will accept or reject it only after analyzing it. The collective
agreement with the workers expired in March this year.
“We need time to study the new proposal. The wages of plantation
workers is revised once in two years under a collective agreement,”
The trade unions representing workers have been clamouring for an
increase of the daily wage to Rs. 1,000 which was shot down by RPCs due
to low profits triggered by the crisis in the Middle East and Russia.
Planters’ Association of Ceylon sources said the revenue sharing
model is mutually beneficial and a sustainable solution for plantation
industry workers, with room for improvement in the daily plucking
average of tea.
Chairman, Planters’ Association, Roshan Rajadurai said insisting on
the existing model which has resulted in labour costs spiralling has
dragged the industry further downwards.
The stakeholders must break away from the redundant thinking of the
past and accept present-day reality. “We must move away from the current
attendance-based wage system which will lead the industry to disaster.
Saner counsel and a spirit of partnership should prevail for the benefit
of those who depend on the industry,” he said.
The RPCs proposed a productivity-based wage model this year which was
rejected by estate sector trade unions.
RPC sources said that with a staggering loss of Rs. 4,000 million in
the tea and rubber sector last year, the new proposal enables high
labour costs to be controlled by improving worker productivity through
Under the new model, remuneration depends on the workers’ output as
opposed to the archaic attendance-based wages, which provides little
incentive to increase productivity.
The new model thus gives workers greater control over their earnings.
All the other agricultural, agronomic and management practices and
inputs, supervision, support services, logistics and traditional
services, facilities and benefits will be continued without any change.