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  • estate workers are requesting minimum 850/= as their basic wage. In that sort of position what will be output from this sector.

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    • RPCs to meet today for wage talks

      6 February 2019

      Following the withdrawal of the daily wage agreement for plantation workers, discussions will restart with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) today.

      The Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) is set to meet with RPCs to discuss the plantation workers’ wages issue mediated by Plantation Minister Naveen Dissanayake today, Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan told Daily FT.

      The issue of wages was raised at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday by National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister Mano Ganesan backed by Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister P. Digambaran.

      “The President and the Prime Minister listened to the issues attentively and the Prime Minister later held separate meetings with us over the matter,” Ganesan said.

      Minister of Plantations Naveen Dissanayake and Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister Ravindra Samaraweera will mediate the discussions with RPCs, he said.

      “We are going to discuss the wage negotiations and we will have to explore a new way forward. This collective agreement has to go,” Ganesan insisted.

      The Minister said that the plantation sector needed “total reform” and they would explore new ways to negotiate the wages of workers.

      “These closed-door negotiations will have to stop,” he said

      Earlier this month plantation worker trade unions and RPCs reached a settlement to increase the basic daily wage to Rs. 700, with a Rs. 100 million pledge by the Government to help companies pay three months’ wage arrears.

      The trade unions, which had initially called for a Rs. 1,000 basic wage, brought down their demand to accept the offer by RPCs to increase the basic wage to Rs. 700, up Rs. 75 from their earlier offer of Rs. 625. The Collective Agreement on the wage negotiations was signed on 28 January, but was subsequently withdrawn.

      Representatives from the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU) and Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) discussed the earlier Rs. 700 basic wage offered, with a Rs. 20 increase from the current Rs. 30 in Price Share Supplement (PSS), totalling a total daily wage of Rs. 750. The negotiations also saw an increase in payment for additional output by Rs. 15 per kilo.

      The wage formula agreed to in January included the daily basic wage, PSS and over-kilo rate, while both attendance incentive and productivity incentive have been removed. The RPCs agreed to pay the arrears in wage payments from October, when the Collective Agreement signed in 2016 lapsed.

      In a bid to ease the financial burden on the companies, Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake had agreed to allocate Rs. 150 million from Tea Board funds to finance the payments.

      http://www.ft.lk/front-page/RPCs-to-...alks/44-672346

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      • Which way the Tea prices heading. Dollar Stabilizing under 180$.
        "The best values today are often found in the stocks that were once hot and have since gone cold"

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        • Weekly Tea Market Report

          WEEKLY TEA MARKET REPORT - SALE NO: 6 - 05TH/ 06TH FEBRUARY 2019

          A total of 7.2 million kgs came under the hammer this week. There was good demand.

          Ex-Estate offerings totalled 1.0 million kgs. Improved demand for a selection of teas in the Best and Below Best categories.

          Best Western BOP - select invoices gained Rs. 20/- per kg and more following special inquiry, whilst the others were irregular. Corresponding BOPF gained Rs. 20-30/- per kg and more. In the Below Best category, better BOP/BOPF gained Rs. 20-40/- per kg, whilst the others were firm and dearer to a lesser extent. Poor leaf and particularly, the plainer invoices were irregularly easier and often difficult of sale. Nuwara Eliyas were firm and dearer, with select BOPF invoices gaining substantially following special inquiry. Udapussellawa - BOP's barely steady, whilst the corresponding BOPF - select high priced teas of last week declined Rs. 20-30/- per kg and more, whilst poorer sorts were Rs. 10-20/- per kg dearer. Uva - select BOP invoices gained Rs. 20-40/- per kg, whilst the others were barely steady. Corresponding BOPF too followed a similar trend with select invoices gaining substantially, whilst others, on average, appreciated Rs. 20/- per kg. High & Mid Grown CTC BP1's were Rs. 20/- per kg dearer, on average, whilst the corresponding PF1's together with the Low Grown varieties sold around last week's levels. Liquoring Leafy teas, particularly from the Nuwara Eliya region, continued to realize fairly attractive prices ranging between Rs. 700-900/- per kg.

          Low Grown teas totalled 3.1 million kgs in the Leafy/Tippy catalogues. There was good general demand. In the Leafy catalogue, better OP1/BOP1's sold at fully firm to dearer rates. Others where leaf style was not maintained, prices were irregular and lower. Better OP/OPA's too were fully firm to selectively dearer, whilst teas at the lower end gained substantially. Better PEK1's though irregular were mostly firm, whilst PEK's commenced fully firm but were lower towards the close. In the Tippy catalogue, selection of better FBOP/FF1's maintained, whilst others were barely steady. At the lower end cleaner types were fully firm to dearer. Balance were irregular. In the Premium catalogue, there was better demand and prices for most teas were dearer to last. There was good demand from shippers to CIS, Turkey, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

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          • RPCs reject fresh revisions to new Collective Agreement

            9 February 2019

            • Plantation companies say already paying wages according to new rates
            • Cost increase to industry over new wage rates tops Rs. 9 billion, contends further hike impossible
            • Several trade unions determined to revise new agreement, but fresh talks inconclusive

            Plantation companies are opposed to further increases in plantation worker wages, which saw an increase in the basic wage just last month, despite several trade unions initiating fresh negotiations this week.

            “We are not prepared to consider any wage increases,” the Planters’ Association Secretary-General Lalith Obeyesekere told Daily FT. “We have already taken a hit of Rs. 9 billion due to the increase, and the industry cannot sustain further increases,” he said. Despite objections registered by some trade unions, the companies have started making wage payments according to the new rates from the date it came into effect.

            “January wages have to be paid before 10 February, and we have calculated wages as per the new rates for the days after the Collective Agreement was signed,” Obeyesekere said. The first round of discussions held on Thursday, this time initiated by trade unions who are not involved in the negotiations of the Collective Agreement, ended inconclusively, with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) refusing to give a further increase in the daily wage.

            Following months of negotiations, the RPCs and three trade unions became signatories to the Collective Agreement on 25 January. They reached a settlement to increase the basic wage to Rs. 700, which is a 40% increase. The Rs. 200 increase was coupled with an increase in Price Share Supplement from Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 and over kilo payment increase to Rs. 40, removing incentives given for productivity and attendance. An ex-gratia payment was also included in place of an arrears.

            Two of the trade unions, Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU) and Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), signed the Collective Agreement. However, the Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) refused to sign, protesting the removal of incentive payments, which JPTUC General Secretary S. Ramanathan claimed to be part of the settlement reached. Further, Ramanathan also objected to the word ex-gratia in the agreement in reference to the arrears payment.

            “We didn’t have time to review the agreement as we have done in other negotiations. We only got a soft copy draft during the weekend and we objected to certain clauses in it. That is why we didn’t sign,” Ramanathan told Daily FT.

            Following representations made by Minister Mano Ganesan and a number of other Government MPs, the gazetting of the agreement was suspended and talks were resumed. First round of talks ended inconclusively, but the trade union and Parliamentarians who took part are optimistic of winning their demands.

            Up-Country People’s Front representative Aravind Kumar, speaking to Daily FT, said that the discussions were ‘cordial’.

            “We exchanged views over different things, and they said they are not able to increase the wages but we discussed at length, and we are positive of winning our demands,” he said.

            http://www.ft.lk/top-story/RPCs-reje...ment/26-672556

            Comment


            • Since its an election year, promises galore. And fighting to get more votes.
              if retail investors are high in numbers, then we too can ask. දියව් දියව් 6500 දියව් CSE කරලා දියව්
              "The best values today are often found in the stocks that were once hot and have since gone cold"

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              • Live Today........
                Without compromising your ability to Live Tomorrow………

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                • Originally posted by PAT View Post
                  A total of 7.2 M/kgs of tea came under the hammer at last week’s tea auction which saw a good demand. Ex-Estate offerings totalled 1. M/kgs. Improved demand for a selection of teas in the Best and Below Best categories.

                  Best Western BOP - select invoices gained Rs. 20 per kg and more following special inquiry, whilst the others were irregular. Corresponding BOPF gained Rs. 20-30- per kg and more. In the Below Best category, better BOP/BOPF gained Rs. 20-40- per kg, whilst the others were firm and dearer to a lesser extent. Poor leaf and particularly, the plainer invoices were irregularly easier and often difficult of sale- http://dailynews.lk/2019/02/11/busin...igh-demand-tea

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                  • Sri Lanka govt to spend Rs1.2bn on extra wage hike to tea estate workers

                    Feb 13, 2019

                    Sri Lanka’s government will allocate 1.2 billion rupees in the forthcoming budget to pay an extra 50 rupees a day to unionised labour on tea estates, Minister of Plantation Industries Naveen Dissanayake said.
                    The government decided to step in and top up worker wages following demands from politicians and union leaders supporting the regime, he told a news conference.

                    About 140,000 unionised workers will benefit from the 50-rupee hike, which will be in addition to the 700 rupee basic wage agreed on between unions and regional plantations companies represented by the Planters’ Association (PA) in a recent collective agreement.

                    Previously, estate workers got 500 rupees a day as basic pay.
                    Dissanayake said the 40 percent hike in basic wages in the collective agreement was a big increase but politicians who were government ministers and leaders of unions not part of the deal had wanted more.

                    “The PA said they can’t raise wages further for economic and legal reasons, as the collective agreement had been signed,” Dissanayake said.
                    “We had talks with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning and it was decided to give 50 rupees more per worker from government funds which will be announced in the budget.”
                    For the wage hike, Sri Lanka Tea Board funds will be given as a loan to the government which will repay the money later, he said.

                    “The 50 rupee per day per worker payment is outside the collective agreement – it is a budgetary provision which will be only for one year. We can’t pay forever,” Dissanayake said.
                    The 50 rupee extra pay will be given only to workers on tea estate, and not cultivating other plantation crops like rubber and coconut.

                    “These are public funds,” Dissanayake said. “It is a political decision. Sri Lanka is a highly politicised country – everything is based on politics.”

                    https://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_go...3-13434-9.html

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                    • President appoints committee to present solutions for issues related to tea industry

                      16 February 2019

                      President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a special committee to present solutions after studying the short- and long-term issues related to the tea industry, including the wage issue of the estate workers.
                      This committee was appointed during a special discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat regarding the wage issue of the plantation workers.

                      President’s Chief of Staff H. M. P. Hitisekara, Ministry of Plantation Industries Secretary J. A. Ranjith, R. P. R. Rajapaksa, Secretary of Ministry of Labour, Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Tea Board Chairman W. L. P. Wijewardena, Commissioner General of Labour J. Wimalaweera, Chairman of the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority, and representatives of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon, Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association, Sri Lanka Tea Brokers’ Association, and Tea Exporters Association of Sri Lanka will be included as members in this committee.

                      The objective of this committee is to address issues related to the tea industry, accelerate the steps that should be taken to develop the industry, and to increase the welfare activities implemented for the benefit of the workers engaged in the industry. The committee is expected to submit its report within a month to the President.


                      The obstacles that have arisen in the process of raising the salaries of the tea industry workers and the issues that have arisen in the field of tea exports were broadly discussed at this meeting.
                      Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, relevant Ministry Secretaries, public servants, veteran cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, representatives of the associations related to the tea industry, and others participated in this meeting.

                      http://www.ft.lk/front-page/Presiden...stry/44-672990

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                      • Tea export revenue for 2018 dips 2%

                        Friday, February 15, 2019 - 01:00

                        Sri Lanka tea crop was 1% down from the 2017 figure of 307 mn. kgs. ending with 303 mn. Kgs according to a release from the Tea board.

                        Tea exports from Sri Lanka also came down proportionately from 288 mn. kgs. in 2017 to 282 mn. kgs. (2% drop) in 2018.

                        With a boost in the crop during the year 2019, it is expected that exports would reach around 300 m. kilos by end of the year. The total earnings during the year 2018 have been registered at US$ 1.43 billion as against US$ 1.53 billion in 2017.

                        With a better year expected for the tea industry, a revenue exceeding US$ 1.60 billion is targeted for the New Year. More focus would be emphasized on re-planting, new planting and infilling for better yields. The fertilizer subsidy would also continue to help the tea farmers.

                        Iraq emerged as the no. 1 buyer of Ceylon Tea during the year 2018 with 38.5 mn. kgs. followed by Turkey, Russia and Iran.

                        Turkey played a major role as a hub location with a fair volume of re-exports to neighboring countries.

                        The continuing economic sanctions against Iran by the UN and the tougher sanctions imposed by USA after November 2018 made it even more difficult for Ceylon Tea to reach Iranian territory.



                        Thus, exports from Sri Lanka to Iran declined by almost 4 mn. kgs. and reached 24 mn. kgs. by end of 2018. Iran and Sri Lanka are discussing other options available for business due to the non-availability of a banking conduit.

                        Barter trade has been identified as a possible way out which is effectively adopted by India for business with Iran.

                        Libya has performed well despite the unstable country situation and the Ceylon Tea off-takes have increased by 2 mn. kgs. from 11.6 mn. kgs. to 13.6 mn. kgs. in 2018 over 2017. The country situation in Syria has normalized greatly with the government now controlling almost 95% of the territory.

                        As a result, Ceylon Tea exports have increased from 7.4. mn. kgs.to 10.2 m. kgs. to Syria. It is projected that Syria would further increase Ceylon Tea purchases during 2019. China is another potential outlet for Ceylon Tea and has registered imports for the first time exceeding 10 m. kgs. during 2018.

                        China is anticipated to show a further growth on Ceylon Tea absorption during the New Year. Ceylon Tea experienced the presence of excessive agro-chemicals MCPA and Hexaconazole substituted for the Glyphosate ban in Japan where shipment figures dipped from 8 mn. kgs. in 2017 to 7.5 m. kgs. in 2018. With the Glyphosate ban lifted, the performance of Ceylon Tea is expected to improve in Japan.

                        Sri Lanka Tea Board would implement green leaf enhancement programme which would improve the productivity and quality.

                        In addition the project for improving Good manufacturing practices in tea factories would be continued in 2019 to bring all the tea factories at higher leave of food processing standards. This would result in high confidence of tea consumers, better international marketing.

                        http://dailynews.lk/2019/02/15/busin...ue-2018-dips-2

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