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28 Feb 2022

Lakmal Sooriyagoda, Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka: Tea plantation companies challenge daily wage increase for workers in court

See all tags Allegations

"Plantation companies’ petition against daily wage hike of workers fixed for argument", 28 February 2022

A writ petition filed by 20 major plantation companies challenging the decision of the Wages Board to increase the daily wage of plantation workers to Rs. 1,000 has been fixed for further argument by the Court of Appeal.

...President’s Counsel Avindra Rodrigo appearing for a respondent party informed Court that several plantation companies are deliberately refusing to pay Rs.1000 daily wage for the plantation workers.

The Court of Appeal bench comprising Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Justice Mayadunne Corea fixed the writ petition for further argument on March 4.

The petitioners are; Agarapatana Plantations Limited, Balangoda Plantations PLC, Elpitiya Plantations PLC, Horana Plantations PLC, Hapugastenne Plantations PLC, Kahawatte Plantations PLC, Kegalle Plantations PLC, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC, Kotagala Plantations PLC, Madulsima Plantations PLC, Malwatte Valley Plantations PLC, Maskeliya Plantations PLC, Natural Plantations Limited, Namunukula Plantations PLC, Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC, Udapussallawa Plantations PLC, Watawala Plantations PLC, Hatton Plantations PLC, Bogawantalawa Plantations PLC and Lalan Rubbers (Pvt)  Ltd. The petitioners had named Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Chairman of Wages Board for tea, rubber growing and manufacturing trade Prabath Chandrakeerthi and several others as respondents.

These plantation companies are seeking an order quashing the decision of the Wages Board to increase the daily wage of plantation workers to Rs. 1,000.

The petitioners stated that in the event they are compelled to pay Rs.1000 as a minimum wage to every estate worker, they would incur significant losses and the petitioner companies would all run at a loss in the foreseeable future...

This increase comprises Rs.900 as the minimum daily wage and Rs.100 allowance...