Sri Lankan SEP public meeting on the struggle of plantation workers

23 September 2009

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public meeting on “The World Economic Crisis and the Plantation Workers’ Struggle” in the central plantation districts town of Hatton on Sunday, September 27.

An agreement between the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and employers, backed by the government, to impose poverty-level wages has provoked widespread opposition among plantation workers. All the unions, including those that claim to oppose the deal, are seeking to suppress any independent struggle for decent pay and conditions.

Workers at the Balmoral Estate in Agarapathana have taken the initiative in forming their own independent action committee and appealed to workers in other plantations and workplaces to do the same. Their appeal declared that workers can have no faith in any of the trade unions and must take matters into their own hands.

The meeting will address a number of crucial questions. What has led to the transformation of the trade unions into open industrial policemen for employers and governments? What is the impact of the global economic breakdown on the Sri Lankan economy? How do workers wage a political struggle, not only against the government and employers, but also against their own trade unions?

SEP speakers will discuss the lessons of the plantation workers’ struggle and outline the socialist perspective needed for a unified political fight to defend democratic rights and living standards. We invite all workers and youth to attend our meeting to discuss these vital issues.

Venue: Christian Workers Fellowship (CWF) Hall
Dunbar Road, Hatton
Time: Sunday, September 27, 10.00 a.m.
Main speaker: Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary