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Crisis brewing in tea industry

6 March 2021 09:01 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A crisis is looming in the tea industry with plantation companies considering various options after being forced to agree to a Rs. 1,000 daily wage.

The Daily Mirror learns that plantation companies are considering multiple options including legal action after the Wages Board decided to grant Rs. 1,000 as a daily wage to estate workers. When contacted by the Daily Mirror, planters’ association (PA) Media Spokesperson Dr. Roshan Rajadurai refused to confirm reports that legal action is being sought.

However, he said a number of options are being looked into as the tea industry is likely to collapse following the decision taken by the authorities. “we have been sliding down to oblivion, this will only accelerate the process,” Rajadurai said. rajadurai insisted that plantation companies are running at a loss and they will be compelled to implement drastic cuts. He said that tea production will most likely be reduced and eventually the quality of the tea will also be affected. “with this situation we won’t be able to afford to do anything. If anyone can say they can pay Rs. 1000 they must demonstrate how they will do it.we don’t have the capacity to do this, ”he said.

Plantation companies had earlier proposed a productivity based wage model to resolve the daily wage issue. However, following pressure from trade unions and politicians the government decided to force the plantation companies to pay Rs. 1000 as a daily wage. The matter was taken to the Wages Board and despite objections raised, it was decided to enforce the Rs.1000 daily wage. Rajadurai said that with the issue now being taken over by the Wages Board some plantation companies have given notice of their intention to withdraw from the collective agreement between the companies and trade unions. Over the years the daily wage of estate workers was based on the collective agreement.(EASWARAN RUTNAM)

  Comments - 14

  • Bernard Saturday, 06 March 2021 09:47 AM

    It will be interesting to note who will prevail at the end, the government or the plantation companies.

    Jude Saturday, 06 March 2021 09:52 AM

    So plantation companies willing to pay millions of rupees to bunch of lawyers instead of paying the due wage increase to POOR workers!! HUH!! Hypocrites!!

    Anton Weerasinghe Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:07 AM

    Paying millions to lawyers are one off payment only, but paying 1000 rupees is continues

    Jude Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:07 AM

    SL plantation companies are managed poorly !! When the competition came from CHINA, INDIA

    karu Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:12 AM

    What losses are they talking. Tea is sold in the Super Markets on a hefty discounts. These guys enjoying the comforts want the workers to be slaves.

    Saman Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:16 AM

    How come they have not deployed Sri Lanka army?

    Jude Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:17 AM

    Estate Workers deserve to get the wage increase!! THEY'RE living standards should be elevated !! BEST way to do that is a wage increase!! The politicians and the trade unions who represent them NOT doing enough to safe guard their intrest!!

    Jude Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:28 AM

    Tea is the second MOST consumed drink in the world, after water!! Yet SL tea board and plantation companies don't KNOW how to market their product!! Huh!! Ignorant imbeciles !!

    NightOwl Saturday, 06 March 2021 10:58 AM

    If a productivity-based system can be implemented it would be better. However, productivity does not mean working extra hours to gain 1,000/-.

    samson Saturday, 06 March 2021 05:01 PM

    plantation companies need to cut their corners and do away with the perks enjoyed by directors senior staff etc. Learnto manage properly.

    Senaka Saturday, 06 March 2021 05:33 PM

    All the companies are same. They want to maximize their profit. In this situation the poor and helpless workers have become the victim. It doesn't visible in most of other companies as they give a tie plus other few things to hide the ugly side. End result is sucking the wealth by few people. And we worship them as gods.

    Era Saturday, 06 March 2021 05:50 PM

    I am a tea and rubber small holder. Though salary is 1000/- , actual cost to owner is more than 1200/-. When rubber price touches 265/- from current 400/- which is very unusual, rubber owner starts loosing money. For Tea leaves current prices hoover around 95/-. This can go down to 65 or less. For Rs. 1200 a plucker brings 20 kg, ie Rs. 60 is paid to the plucker alone out of leaf price of 90-95/-. When price toucges 80/- owner starts loosing money. Is this model sustainable, not at all. The industry will crash within an year.

    Demuni Uduwara Sunday, 07 March 2021 12:09 AM

    Due heed pay to implement wages formula of P A.

    Tea Sunday, 07 March 2021 06:25 AM

    Upcountry tea is always brewing up there! But it's not the Plantation Companies' cup of tea by any means!

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