Rajapakse to intervene on estate strike
[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 December 2006, 14:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse is to meet the leaders of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF), Ceylon Workers United Front (CWUF) and National Estate Workers Union (NEWU) Monday to find an amicable settlement to the plantation workers strike which entered sixth day Sunday, trade union sources said. The workers at tea estates are demanding a minimum daily wage of Rs 300 (US$3).
The talks held between the representatives of the workers and the Ceylon Employers Federation (CEF) with the Labour Minister Mr.Athauda Seneviratne in the chair Friday and Saturday failed to reach a consensus, sources said.
Mr.Athauda Seneviratne summoned these discussions on the instructions of Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse on representation made to him by trade union leaders.
The discussions ended in a stalemate when the CEF representatives were firm in their position that the daily basic salary of the worker could not be increased from 160 rupees. But the trade union leaders demanded that the daily basic salary should be increased to atleast Rs 250.
Mr.Athauda Seneviratne said the discussion would resume Monday afternoon after he briefs Mr. Rajapakse in the morning, sources said.