Upcountry Union leader flays wage agreement

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 November 2004, 02:58 GMT]
"Leader of Ceylon Workers Union and Minister in the United Peoples Freedom Front (UPFA) government, Arumugam Thondaman, who is one of the signatories to the Collective Agreement signed between the Estate Unions and Employers Federation has recently said that the Trade Union Leaders have to protect the workers and also Employers Federation. This mindset reveals the CWC's complete disregard for workers welfare and explains the meagre 10% increase in wages negotiated in the CA," said Mr D.V. Sennan, President of Ceylon Workers United Front (CWUF) Friday.

Tea pickers at Bamboragala EstateMr Sennan was speaking at a meeting held at the Demodera Sowtham temple, presided by CWUF District Secretary Mr. N Thillainathan.

"The Collective Agreement in question is a serious disappointment to the workers. The Joint Trade Union Committee that signed the agreement has done a gross disservice to estate workers by depriving them of a wage increase of nearly 70% that was expected from the forthcoming budget. The 10% wage increase offered to the workers by the CA is hardly enough to even compensate for the rising prices in essential goods," added Mr Sennan.

"While conducting discussions with the Employers' Federation, the participation of all the Estate Trade Unions concerned should have been secured. Agreements arrived through discussions held with the big unions cannot be accepted by all," Mr Sennan said.

Ceylon Workers United Front is the 3rd largest behind the CWC and the Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) led by Periyasamy Chandrasekaran.

Earlier, Central Provincial Council Member and Upcountry People's Front (UPF) Administrative Secretary S.Arulsamy also lashed out at the Collective Agreement for failing to secure a reasonable wage increase to estate workers.

 

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