As a result of unfavourable weather conditions in the hill country the workers in the plantation sector are confronted with the crisis of not getting enough work and a solution should be found for specially Hindu devotees who would celebrate the Deepavali festival next week states All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union (ACEWU).
This is stated in a media announcement issued by the President of ACEWU Ramalingam Chandrasekar.
The tea pluckers could pluck only 6 or 7 kilograms of tea leaves due to the drought prevailing in the area and as a result plantation companies allow workers to work only 5 or 6 days a month. If a worker fulfills the target of plucking 18 to 25 kilograms of tea leaves per day they would be entitled for a day’s wages. However, during adverse weather even if the worker works the whole day he is entitled for only half a day’s wages. As a result they are unable to meet the attendance target of 75% and are denied the attendance allowance of Rs.105/- Despite their plight is forwarded to estate administrations, the workers do not get any relief from them states the media announcement.
Instead of considering the plight the workers are confronted with and releasing them from the pressure they are confronted with, the authorities evade the issue stating they are unable to do anything for circumstances that have been influenced by nature.
Most of the workers in the estate sector are Hindu devotees. The main festival of Hindus is celebrated next week. However, due to poor management of the authorities in the estate sector the workers have not been able to earn a substantial wage this month and are crestfallen as they are unable to celebrate their main cultural event. The crisis confronted by the workers has been made acute as the Rs. 6000 Deepawali allowance that had been paid in the previous years has been reduced to Rs. 4500/- this year. The plantation sector companies, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs should mediate and find a short term solution immediately for the crisis confronted by estate workers who are unable to celebrate their festival. Also, all parties involved in the plantation sector should find ways and means of finding solutions for issues confronted by the plantation sector and its employees.