Most plantation workers on strike today

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan plantation workers burnt an effigy of S. Thondaman, leader of the main trade union in the Sri Lanka's hill country, for reaching a compromise on the strike, and demanding 105 rupees as minimum daily wage.

More than 95 percent of the plantation work force kept away from work today, said sources in hill country.

Workers who reported for duty this morning in some estates also went on strike after a few hours of work when they heard about the general situation of protests.

Plantation workers stormed several offices of trade unions this morning, vehemently protesting against the compromise reached between the trade unions and the plantation companies yesterday, under the auspicious of the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge.

In the hill country town of Talawakella plantation workers attempted to burn down the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) branch office this morning when they heard of the compromise that had been reached last evening.

The Sri Lankan Police, however, dispersed the crowd before it could burn down the CWC office.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan state media made several special announcements today that workers who report to their estates today would receive especial allowances.

A senior journalist from the plantation sector told TamilNet that the situation is unprecedented.

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