For the collective bargaining process, a trade union delegate is appointed with a 40% staff membership, who is then the main negotiator in agreement with the other unions in the sector. Over the past two years, unions have demanded a daily base salary of 1,000 aff. but then accepted the final offer of the RPCs and signed a revised collective agreement last year. Wage setting in Sri Lanka includes the collective bargaining process as an important method, particularly in the banking sector, in large commercial enterprises and in the plantation sector. The Ceylon Employers Association (EFC) represents its employers in these negotiations. Collective agreements between the parties are legally applicable after being placed under the authority of the Labour Commissioner and published in the government scoreboard. If the terms of the collective agreement fail because the employer does not comply with the conditions, a conciliation is initiated by the industrial relations department to resolve the dispute through a transaction agreement. If this fails, both parties can use voluntary arbitration to resolve the dispute. When the union initiates trade union action, the forced conciliation is carried out by the labour court by the Labour Commissioner. During this trial, disputes are refereed by a single panel of arbitrators and the decision of the labour tribunal is binding on the parties. However, the High Court and the Court of Appeal are on the verge of legal recourse. The Planters` Association of Ceylon (PA), which represents the Regional Plantation Societies (RPCs), firmly stated that their membership was not financially able to afford union demands for a daily wage of R1,000 and insisted on raising all-inclusive wages at an affordable price of Rs 940 or the 46 Rs Rs offered per kilo as a tip. „In the face of sri Lanka`s declining market share, falling auction prices, low productivity rates, we are taking a huge risk by offering a 20% increase in base salary to 600%.

We stand firm and call on the trade unions to agree on this fundamental fact, namely that it is not financially cost-effective to provide a daily wage of 1,000 people,“ Palestinian Authority President Sunil Poholiyadde told reporters in Colombo yesterday. He pointed out that the negotiation of a new collective agreement had been in a complete stalemate, although the industry had made three concrete offers, each of which had been rejected by unions demanding RS.