PA commends growing Government & Trade Union support for reforms towards a Revenue Share Model

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) commended Government and
Trade Union representatives for voicing preliminary support for long-overdue reforms to the
archaic colonial-era daily attendance-based model in favour of a productivity-boosting modern
Revenue Share Model.
While certain stakeholders have advocated limiting workers’ pay to a mere Rs. 1,000, over the
years, PA has consistently championed and promoted a model that empowers workers to earn
beyond this threshold. “For more than a decade, the PA has steadfastly maintained that the only
way for Sri Lankan plantations to achieve operational sustainability is through the abolition of
the daily attendance-based model in favour of a revenue share, similar to what has been
practiced on tea smallholder estates with enormous success,” PA media spokesperson Dr.
Roshan Rajadurai stated.
“While Trade Unions have typically been entrenched in their opposition to such reforms, we are
encouraged to see the growing realisation among these stakeholders as to the value of this
model for workers. Especially since more RPCs have been exposed to this model of working,
they too are pushing Trade Unions to support these reforms to move ahead. We maintain that a
revenue share model is the only viable way to ensure the feasibility of Sri Lanka’s tea industry
without compromising on our obligation to provide our employees with a sustainable and
rewarding livelihood.” Dr. Rajdurai added.
The PA’s statement came following tentative support for wage reforms expressed by a high-
ranking official of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress on social media. The official stated that a
meeting was held with the President to propose a new revenue-sharing model, which aims to
strike a balance between workers’ livelihoods and the sustainability of companies to address
wage disparities.
Under the revenue share model, workers stand to benefit from flexible working hours, allowing
them greater control over their schedules and improved worker mobility. This flexibility enables
other family members to contribute to the earning process, fostering a sense of economic
empowerment within plantation communities.
According to PA, empirical evidence demonstrates that harvesters have significantly increased
their output from 18 kgs to 24 kgs on estates where productivity-linked wages have been
trialled, resulting in earnings surpassing Rs. 65,000. “Several RPCs that have already
implemented this system have witnessed remarkable progress, with workers earning two to
three times the wage they would have otherwise received. The Revenue Share Model’s flexible
working hours have unlocked the potential for increased productivity in previously unharvested
areas, addressing labour shortages and boosting overall plantation output,” added Dr.
PA further emphasized that shifting from the daily wage model to the revenue share model also
offers a solution to the escalating migration of labour, exacerbated by recent economic
challenges. Currently, the workforce within RPCs has reduced from 300,000 to approximately
100,000. This transition can help reverse the alarming trend of labour migration out of the
plantation sector, a critical step if Sri Lanka is to meet its state production targets.

PA is steadfast in its commitment to promoting the revenue share model as a progressive and
transformative solution for the plantation sector. PA remains dedicated to ensuring that worker
productivity is fairly rewarded, setting the stage for a brighter and more sustainable future for
every plantation worker.

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