Embezzlement of Estate Pension funds suspected
[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 November 2004, 12:24 GMT]
Workers of the estates under the Agrapatana Plantation Ltd have reported to the Labor Relations Officier (LRO) of the Ceylon National Workers Union at its office in Haputale, that the EPF (Employee Provident Fund) and ETF (Employee Trust Fund) of nearly 40,000 workers have not been deposited in the bank since 2002, sources from Haputale said.
The LRO has, in turn, sent an urgent letter in this
connection to the Agrapatana Plantation Authorities and also apprised the
Assistant Commissioner of Labour, Haputale, Mr. Abeysinghe of the details of the allegations.
While the Asst. Commissioner has confirmed that the
EPF, ETF contributions have not been deposited in the Bank, the Agrapatana Plantation Ltd. has not responded to the accusation.
"In these circumstances, retiring workers are unable to ascertain the amounts due to them. It is mandatory that EPF/ETF contributions should be deposited promptly in the Central Bank. Thus, it is regrettable that the contributions of 40000 workers in the 22 estates have not been deposited for the last 2 years," a senior member of UpCountry Peoples Front (UPF) said.
Meanwhile, from Tuesday workers of the Estates in Agrapathna have been on strike demanding salary increase. The employers nor the Sri Lanka Government has taken any action to resolve the matters of dispute. The striking workers said they will continue the strike until their demands are met.