The unions had demanded a daily base salary of Rs 1,000 over the past two years, but then accepted the RPCs` final offer and signed a revised collective agreement last year. Regardless of the size of the plantations and the level of productivity, the big “win-win” mechanisms are as follows: a collective agreement signed between regional plantation companies (RPCs) and trade unions is under threat after the government raised the daily wage of plantation workers to 1,000 rupees. The EFC said that if the proposed increase were to be imposed on CCP, it would be inconsistent with the legal provisions and values of the International Labour Organization`s (ILO) “Kern” 98 agreement on collective bargaining. The recent wage negotiations, which lasted more than three months, resulted in a 40% increase in the base salary to 700 rupees. However, the wage model has undergone a change, removing incentives for attendance and productivity. While two out of three unions signed the agreement, the third signatory of the collective agreement did not sign in protest against the abolition of incentives. “Then they won`t have any problems with productivity or daily wages, workers can grow and will be paid on the basis of performance,” Ramesh said. Collective bargaining is referred to in International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 154 (1981) and is defined as “all negotiations that take place between an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers` organizations, on the one hand, and one or more workers` organizations, on the other hand: currently, the CCP and two signatory trade unions, the Ceylon Workers` Congress (CWC) and the Union jathique estate workers (LJEWU) are currently covered by the collective agreement. n which has been concluded in the sense of Sri Lankan law, which will decide on current wages and enter into force at least until January 2021. The unions that signed the current collective agreement and other unions, such as the Up Country People`s Front and the Tamil Progressive Alliance, have also called for reforms in the plantation wage sector. These processes should be included in the CBA from the outset and, if necessary, revised.
The structured evolution of the agreements is important so that the initial demands of the trade unions are not exaggerated and do not lead to conflicts from the outset. Alternatively, trade unions and businesses should work together, over time, towards gradual and well-structured improvements, while being jointly responsible for the effective and sustainable implementation of these improvements. . . .