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Estate Unions laud President for fair deal

COLOMBO: The Employers Federation of Ceylon yesterday called for the plantation trade unions to instruct the workers to return to their working stations at their respective plantation divisions to start work without delay.

The Federation's Deputy Director Ravi Peiris said that although most workers had come for work in the plantations after ending their 14-day long strike following Tuesday's settlement before the President, a considerable number of workers are yet to report for duty in some areas.

Peiris thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for having ended the strike without causing further prolongation, and said that the strike had dealt a severe blow on the country's macro economy causing a loss of billions of rupees with the plantation companies having to deal with its effects directly," he said.

A collective agreement on wages was signed at Temple Trees on Tuesday before the President, putting an end to the strike with workers getting a wage increase of Rs. 260 per day as opposed to the wage increase of Rs.240 offered to them by the employers after their demand to increase their daily pay from Rs.190 to Rs.300.

Meanwhile, the estate trade unions expressed their gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for giving them a fair wage hike, stating that his intervention had settled matters amicably.

The leader of the Up Country People's Front, P. Chandrasekaran said they were happy that they could arrive at an agreement.

"We appreciate President Rajapaksa's decision to appoint a special committee to look into the problems of estate workers," said Chandrasekaran.

The Committee is to submit a report on the problems and hardships faced by estate workers to the President for further measures to raise their living standards.

 

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