Will We Remain in Slumber or Awaken to Struggle for Our Rights?

[National Affairs]

None can deny that tea production plays an essential role in generating the national income of this country. But who is behind this tea production? That neither government nor plantation companies care about their living conditions is a matter of anguish. Plantation workers with over 75 years of trade union history are neglected in matters of wage, land ownership, housing, drinking water, health services and education among others.

Estate management still indulges in the practice of deceiving workers by paying very low wages as overtime on working days and holidays. On the other hand, the trade unions which survive on their membership subscriptions have from time to time let them down and betrayed them while ling a life of luxury at their expense.

Trade unions were started essentially to secure the well being of worerks and their rights. But everyone knows that, as far as plantation workers are concerned, from the very outset, they have been used as pawns in the politics of trade unions. Leaders of all trade unions which are based on plantation workers talk about the rights of plantation workers only during elections. The moment polling is over and they secure their positions, they function on behalf of the ruling classes.

In the current context, the cause for the dragging on of the question of wages of plantation works is the lackadaisical attitude of the trade unions. While the wages of employees of all sectors including government employees have been increased in accordance with changing times and rising cost of living expenses, the wages of plantation workers alone remains neglected. It is opportune now for the plantation workers to take the crucial decision whether they continue as members of trade unions which have not secured their rights or leave them and struggle independently for their rights.

Rally to the Hill Country Mass Organization for Social Justice, which is ready to fight for your rights and secure them. Unity is strength!

Marx Prababakar
Hill Country Movement for Social Justice, Haputale

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