Tea estate workers strike

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 April 1999, 15:47 GMT]
More than five thousand Tamil tea estate workers in Deniyaaya, on the southern slopes of Sri Lanka's hill country, went on strike today to protest against their management for not paying their salaries since December 1998.

Trade union leaders in the area said that the strike is on at three tea estates in Deniyaaya and is expected to continue this week. The management, according to them, is claiming that it cannot pay salaries because the price of tea is down in international markets.

Instead, it is prepared to pay a compensation of 500 rupees (7.5 USD) to the workers, they said. Workers are angry because they have no money for celebrating the Tamil new year on April 14 the trade union leaders added.

Meanwhile, more than 600 Tamil tea estate workers in the Hatton-Dickoya plantation division in the central province staged a sit in before their estate office following the death of a pregnant woman today.

The estate management had refused to give a vehicle to take the woman, the wife of a worker, to hospital when she had had labour pains this morning because she was not a labourer on the plantation.

The woman died while being carried by her husband and relatives on a hastily made stretcher to hospital.

 

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