Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plantation Forum

On the 8th June 2007 the Setik organized a Dialogue Session on the issues of the Plantation Sector people. The programme was held at the Setik auditorium at 10.00 a.m and went on for about four hours. The main objective of this forum was to get the ideas and views of the organizations that work for the Plantation Sector people and prepare a policy document to be submitted to the Government and to relevant authorities. There were six resource persons on the panel from different organizations who work for the marginalized people in the Plantation.

At the Panel:

Rev. Fr. George Sigamoney – The Director of Setik
Rev. Fr. Guy Fontgalland – Leo Asharam
Mr. Jayarathna Maliyagoda - Labour Union of Public Service
Mr. P. Muthulingam – Institute of Social Development
Mrs. Shobana Rajendram – Senior Lecturer of Peradeniya University (HR Education Unit)
Mr. Anthonymuthu – Public Relations Officer – Caritas Sri Lanka

About 60 District Steering Committee leaders of the Plantation Sector (Districts of Nuwaraeliya, Matale and Kandy) actively participated at this Dialogue. The resource persons contributed their views about the present status of the Plantation sector and their organizational experiences in working with these groups. They spoke about basic rights, social issues, health conditions, safety and education of the Plantation people and also they gave their suggestions to uplift the lives of these people. From the audience many issues were raised with regard to their Rights, policies of the Government and about their future. The discussion was quite fruitful and many issues were cleared at the floor. The programme terminated with the decision to prepare a memorandum and hand it over to the government.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Plantation Workers Present Situation

Plantation workers carried out a strike of 15 days requesting to increase their day’s wage from Rs. 135/- to Rs. 300/-. These wages increments is included in the collective agreement signed on 19/12/2006 at the Presidential Secretariat by the His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, between the Federation of Plantation employers and the leaders of Plantation trade unions. Mr. Lalisth Obeysekara has signed in this agreement on behalf of the Federation of Plantation employers. The following Plantation trade unions leaders signed on behalf of their unions.

Ø Mr. Arumugn Thondaman - Ceylon Workers Congress
Ø Mr. K. Velayutham - Lanka National Estate Trade Union
Ø Mr. S. Ramanthan - Federation of Plantation Trade Union

The wages structure accepted in these agreement as follows.

Basic Wage per day - Rs. 170.00
Cost of living allowance per day - Rs. 20.00
Allowance for 75% attendance - Rs. 70.00
Total - Rs. 260.00

Allowance for additional leave per day - Rs. 9.00 per Kilo Gram.
(Earlier rate was Rs. 7.00)

Though the Plantation workers requested to increase their day’s wage as Rs. 300.00 the collective agreement accepted only Rs. 260.00