Evolving social and economic dynamics due to ongoing economic crisis key reason Currently, the revenue sharing model contributes to around 30% of tea output of RPCs The revenue sharing model has enabled RPCs to attract unutilised labour in estate sector RPCs view productivity-based revenue sharing model as way forward to retain labour in the sector By Nishel Fernando
The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) last week said that the much-resisted productivity-based revenue sharing wage model is now gaining traction among the estate sector stakeholders amid the evolving economic and social dynamics in the country.
“The 150-year wage model does not suit 2022. The people have changed, society has changed and their aspirations have changed. So, we are promoting a revenue-sharing model where people have more control over the money they earn. Now, there’s a pull factor emerging from the workers itself,” Planters’ Association (PA) of Ceylon Spokesperson Dr. Roshan Rajadurai said.
While RPCs are following the Wages Board directive pay a minimum of Rs.1000 per day for workers, alternatively many workers including some who are not in the official workforce have chosen the revenue-sharing model to earn higher income.
According to him, currently the productivity-based revenue sharing model contributes to around 30 percent of the tea output of RPCs.
“All the RPCs are doing it in different degrees. The areas that cannot be harvested intensively can now be harvested with the revenue-sharing model. We also see a better leaf quality in this harvest. It’s beneficial to all. The workers get an opportunity to maximise their earnings way above Rs.1,000 per day as their work is linked to their productivity,” he elaborated.
Dr. Rajadurai further pointed out that revenue sharing model has enabled the RPCs to attract some of unutilised labour in the estate sector. “Some in the estate sector who do not like to be recognised as estate workers are preferring the outgrow model,” he noted.
Particularly with the current RPC workforce declining to around 120,000 from 327,000 in 1992, RPCs view that the productivity-based revenue sharing model as the way forward for them to retain and reverse the labour migration from the sector.
According to the Planters’ Association, a majority of the harvesters plucking averages between 30-40kgs can increase their earnings to over Rs.60, 000 per month under the revenue sharing model.