Sri Lankan SEP and Deeside Workers Action Committee call meeting to defend plantation workers

The Socialist Equality party (SEP) and Deeside Workers Action Committee (WAC) will hold a meeting on December 18 against major attacks on plantation workers being prepared under a new collective agreement.

The trade unions are praising an agreement signed in October, claiming it is all about an increase in wages. This is a lie. In return for a paltry wage rise, the unions have agreed to support increases in workloads and to prepare the way for a share-cropper system in the tea and rubber plantations. The government has fully backed these attacks.

The aim of the agreement is to place the burden of crisis of the plantation industry, produced by global economic slump, onto the back of workers. Plantation companies and the government are in a desperate cut-throat competition with other tea-producing countries where workers face similar attacks. The trade unions function as corporatist industrial police for the companies and the government.

The SEP and WAC urge plantation workers to build their own action committees, independent of the unions, to fight for decent wages, working conditions and other social rights. Plantation workers and their action committees must turn to other sections of the working class who face similar attacks under Colombo’s IMF-dictated austerity program.

This must be taken forward as part of the fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government to implement socialist program which places big plantations and industries, banks and big business under workers’ democratic control.

These crucial issues will be at the centre of the SEP and WAC meeting. We urge workers and youth to attend the meeting and participate in this vital discussion.

Meeting details:

Sunday 18 December, at 2 p.m.
Hindu Cultural Hall