Dec 27, Colombo: The regional plantation companies (RPCs) and the Ceylon Planters’ Association introducing a new series of proposals aimed at increasing the daily earnings of plantation workers have proposed to increase the daily basic salary of plantation workers to 700 rupees.
Under the new proposal, it has been decided to pay plantation workers 1,025 rupees a day for daily work.
Accordingly, the basic daily wage will be 700 rupees and the total daily wage will include EPF and ETF of 105 rupees, an attendance allowance of 70 rupees, a production allowance of 75 rupees and an allowance of 75 rupees for extra tea leaves harvested.
The Ceylon Planters’ Association says that if workers are properly paid under this model, their monthly earnings will increase by about 4,250 rupees.
Meanwhile, the Ceylon Planters’ Association said in a statement that this would enable plantation workers to earn a very high monthly salary if they exceed the standard amount of tea leaves plucked.
Under the new proposals, regional plantation companies will continue to pay fixed daily wages and reintroduce attendance allowances, incentives for workers to increase productivity, etc.
Regional plantation companies have also introduced a new proposal, a combination of two pay scales of a three-day daily wage and a three-day productivity-based payment. There, workers have the ability to increase their earnings based on their yields.
The first alternative proposal under the new productivity-related proposals is to pay workers a price of Rs. 50 per kilogram of green leaf harvested (including EPF / ETF). Accordingly, when plantation workers get a high tea yield of 30-40 kg of tea leaves per day (above the current standard), they will be able to increase their earnings even more.
According to the Planters’ Association, a worker who picks 20 kilograms of tea leaves at Rs. 50 will receive a daily wage of Rs. 1,000 and a monthly salary of Rs. 25,000.
At present, tea plantations in regional plantation companies average 20-22 kilograms per day, but the average harvest of the best tea pickers averages 30-40 kilograms per day, the Association said. This means that the plantation workers will be able to increase their salary from Rs. 37,500 to Rs. 62,000 per month.
Also listing of workers based on a 35 percent share of the National Sales Rate (NSA) has been put forward as another alternative proposal.