Thiruvananthapuram | Efforts to find a solution to end the 10-day-old strike by about three lakh plantation workers in Kerala once again failed with the Plantation Labour Committee (PLC) meeting, which met here today, not reaching a consensus on wage hike.
The Plantation managements and trade union representatives stuck to their respective stands on the issue. While the unions are demanding raising the minimum daily wages to Rs 500 from Rs 232 at present, managements have said they can only raise the wages by about Rs 25 as the plantation sector was going through an unprecedented crisis.
The fourth round of PLC meeting, convened by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John and Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed, failed to arrive at any consensus. Later talking to reporters, the ministers said trade unions and plantation owners refused to climb down from their declared stands. PLC will meet again and further steps will be decided after consulting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
While the government had put forward two suggestions — announcement of an interim relief and appointment of a High Court judge headed commission to give a report on increasing of wages, the trade unions turned down both. Plantation workers in different estates in Kerala are on indefinite strike under the banner of United Trade Unions, demanding wage hike. ‘Pembilai Orumai’, a collective of women tea plantations in munnar are also spearheading a separate agitation demanding hike in wages.
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