Apr 05, Colombo: The Court of Appeal today has refused to issue a restraining order sought by plantation companies against raising the daily wage of plantation workers to 1,000 rupees.
Accordingly, workers should be paid a daily wage of Rs. 1,000 from March 1, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said at a media briefing in Colombo today. State Minister Jeevan Thondaman also addressed a media briefing at the Ceylon Workers’ Congress office.
The Court of Appeal has granted leave to hear a writ petition filed by 20 plantation companies seeking the issuance of a writ order revoking the gazette notification issued by the government increasing the daily wage of tea & rubber plantation workers to Rs. 1000.
The petition names Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Labor, Prabath Chandrakeerthi, Commissioner General of Labor, and 18 others, including the Chairman of the Tea Industry Wages Board, as respondents.
The Appeal Court Bench comprising Justices Arjuna Obeysekera the Appeal Court Chairman and Mayadunne Correa have made the order to proceed with the hearing scheduled for May 05 and ordered the court to issue notices to the respondents.
The petitioners allege that the sudden increase in the wages of plantation workers in accordance with the gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Labor will put the plantation industry in crisis.
They point out that the plantation companies have to pay taxes to the government and that this increase in wages has put the industry in a serious crisis and seek an order to invalidate the gazette notification on increasing the daily wage to Rs. 1000.
Only two companies agreed to increase the plantation workers' daily wage up to Rs. 1000.
However, Commissioner General of Labor Prabath Chandrakeerthi states that the decision to increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs. 1000 has been confirmed and accordingly, the estate workers will be entitled to this salary with effect from March 05.