Kerala’s plantation labourers on indefinite strike

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 28 (IANS) Kerala’s plantation workers on Monday launched an indefinite strike demanding a daily wage of Rs.500.

The strike call was given on Saturday after a day-long marathon meeting of the Plantation Labour Committee failed to break the deadlock over the demand.

The strike, however, failed to get support from over 10,000 women labourers attached to the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Company Private Limited in Munnar.

The women workers alleged that the trade union leaders were hand in glove with the management. After leaving the trade unions, they undertook a nine-day long strike early this month and managed to get 20 percent bonus.

“We have come to work today (Monday) but the trade unions are not allowing us to work. At some of the estates, our women workers are however working,” said a women worker, who decided to go home and not to join the protest.

The workers are demanding that present daily wages of Rs.231 to be hiked to Rs.500.

However, their demand was shot down by the Association of Planters Kerala – the body of estate owners.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters in Thrissur on Monday that the issue would be amicably resolved.

“There is no doubt that the plantation sector in the Kerala is an integral part of the state’s economy. We are all hopeful that things will be resolved tomorrow (Tuesday),” said Chandy.

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