Talks between estate sector trade unions and the employers for the renewal of the Collective Agreement regarding the wage revision of workers continue to be at a deadlock with the parties yet to decide on a date for the fifth round of talks.
Talks for the renewal of the Collective Agreement were halted in May after four rounds of discussions with no decision being arrived at. The Collective Agreement expired on March 31 this year and talks commenced based on fresh demands of the trade unions.
Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) Vice President Muthu Sivalingam told The Nation that the unions had requested for a fresh date for discussions, but no date had been finalized yet.
Discussions were also affected by the tea crisis in the world market. The Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) stated that this was the worst the tea sector had suffered in years.
The unions in July commenced a go-slow approach as a mark of protest for the delay in talks and the failure of the RPCs to provide a response for their demands pertaining to wages and other demands.
The Planters Association (PA) of Ceylon had also presented a fresh wages scheme, liking wages to productivity. However, the scheme was also rejected by the unions. Talks were then postponed owing to the General elections that were held in August.