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Estate Sector Heading For A Crisis

Jul 14, 2011 8:57:16 AM - thesundayleader.lk

Estate sector is once again heading towards a crisis over the agreement reached on the plucking targets set on workers following the signing of a new collective agreement by several estate sector trade unions and estate sector companies.

The JVP affiliated All Ceylon Estate Workers Union (ACEWU) has said the new increased daily targets had put pressure on the workers to pluck 18kg to 19kg of tea per day. The previous target was 16kg per day.

ACEWU Secretary J. M. Premaratne has however said that the target varied from estate to estate.

He has added that the situation applied to the rubber estates as well. The daily targets for the rubber estate workers had also been increased from 5kg to 10kgs.

According to Premaratne, there was unrest among the workers in some areas due to the pressure of increased daily targets.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Union (NLU) led by government parliamentarian V. Digambaram has blamed the trade unions who are signatories to the recent collective agreement for the current situation.

He has said the trade unions have not informed the workers on the new production targets.

He has charged that these trade unions have informed workers that there was no agreement with regard to the daily targets.

Digambaram has noted that copies of the collective agreement printed in Tamil had not been distributed among the Tamil estate workers for them to understand its details.