United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Vadivel Suresh today said that the government should take immediate steps to pay a minimum wage of Rs 1000 to the estate workers as it was promised by President Gotabaya Rajapksa during the presidential election.
Addressing reporters this morning, Suresh said that although the Cabinet has given its approval to increase the minimum wage to Rs 1000, the plantation companies have not implemented it yet.
“The President has to order the plantation companies to pay 1000 rupees. If it is legalized, then the company owners will be obliged to pay it. Still, the plantation owners have not implemented it,” the MP said.
The MP further said that the health and safety of the estate workers have become a matter of concern at present.
“We have to protect the Ceylon Tea industry and in order to do that, we should protect the estate workers. At present, the health and safety of the estate workers have become concerning. Therefore, the government should fulfil their needs,”
“Estate workers never ask for Eelam. What they ask is a fair salary for their efforts and proper infrastructure facilities. The estate workers’ problems are different from the problems the people in the North and East face. Everyone should understand that,” the MP added.
However, issuing a statement last month, the Presidential Secretariat noted that the President has decided the minimum daily wage of estate workers to be Rs. 1000.00 with effect from 1st March this year.