Mahinda have already started to fool the Plantation workers by not keeping to his promise to increase the basic wages to 1000 Rupees (£5) per day.
Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Arumugam Thondaman urged the plantation workers to call off the 7 November protest stating that newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed him to hold discussion with the Finance Ministry (FM) to accommodate the Rs 1,000 basic wage request by the workers.
The Minister said that he and Minister Vadivel Suresh met the Prime Minister on Friday to remind about the wage hike before the workers’ strike is called. “The Premier suggested that we take the issue up with the Finance Ministry and table a Cabinet Paper requesting the wage hike. He said they should visit the Ministry and suggest a deal between the current Rs 500 basic and how to increase it to Rs 1,000.
The workers see this has a cheating Technics of Mahinda but Thonda wants the protest to be postponed till the Deepavali is over.
He suggested that the Deepavali allowance of Rs 10,000 promised by former PM Ranil should be paid to the workers by Monday or after the festival is over. Due to current political climate, the matter would take some time. Give me few days to resolve this matter,” Minister Thondaman said.
To the question that if the Plantation companies don’t agree, what would be the next step? pulling out the support to Mahinda than will be of No use, Hence the Plantation workers are the looser as usual.
The condition also looms that if the plantation companies’ agreement with the Union does not reach to a consensus, a demand would be tabled to do away with the joint agreement. However, Thondaman said that the joint agreement is not only for wage matters but also for many other conditions and perks and leave.
He added that the only solution now is to work towards the basic wage of 1000 rupees payment that they have been urging for the last two years or so.