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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Estate workers, plantation companies on collision course

Munza Mushtaq -- Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 20 October, ( Estate unions and plantation companies appeared to be heading towards a collision course with no positive breakthrough even after three meetings, sources said. .

"The Employers Federation of Ceylon which represents the plantation companies had forwarded their proposals to the estate unions at the latest meeting late last week, however the unions were not very happy with the federation proposal. The meeting ended on a not so positive note," sources said.

No date has been set for the fourth meeting, but it is likely that the next round of discussions would take place after Deepavali festival scheduled for October 21.

Although both groups were tight lipped on their proposals, unconfirmed reports state that: unions had demanded a daily wage of Rs. 350. The present daily wage earned by an estate worker is between Rs. 131 to 185/-.

The unions have also asked for a flat rate of Rs. 3500 as the Deepavali advance. Currently a worker is paid between Rs. 1500 to 2000as Deepavali advance.

With Deepavali due on October 21, workers are said to be highly disappointed that there is no agreement on the Deepavali advance.

The trade unions are also to demand for women kanganis on grounds that there are many instances of abuse against women by male kanganis, who oversee the work at estates.

- Asian Tribune -

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