If we don’t get 70% salary increase, will resort to trade union action immediately: Estate Staffs’ Union | Sri Lanka News

The Ceylon Estate Staffs' Union (CESU) today said that they would resort to a massive trade union action immediately if they did not receive a 70% salary increase to their minimum salary.

Addressing the media CESU President Nishantha Wanniarachchi said several discussion rounds were held with the Estate Employers' Association (EEA) regarding the salary increment.

The recent salary revision were achieved through renewing the collective agreement via the EEA. Our existing collective agreement will be due on September 30. Therefore, the new collective agreement should be signed before October 1. The agreement will be signed for the next three years (2022–2025).

Considering the current economic crisis, the EEA accepted the difficulties explained by the CESU. The CESU mentioned that they do not have fuel allowances, lack of transport shortages, quarters and the price increase of essential goods. Therefore, we requested a 70% salary increment from the existing minimum wage.

However, the EEA did not agree with our request, but they agreed that several plantation companies were gaining a higher profit. Most of the plantation companies do not expose their actual profits and losses to the government. They used to hide the actual profits while adding certain criteria to show that they were making losses.

“During the first discussion, the EEA agreed to provide a 24% salary increment on three occasions (for three years). We did not agree. During the second discussion, the EEA agreed to provide a 25% salary increment, which we did not agree to. Later, we requested a 60% and 50% salary increment. But the EEA did not agree,” Wanniarachchi said.

Therefore, the CESU said that they decided to go for a countrywide trade union action if the EEA did not provide a 70% salary increase following discussion in the next week, he said.

Moreover, the CESU requested the EEA to investigate this issue without causing inconvenience to the plantation sector's  production. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

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