Labour Relations in Sri Lanka
Through enhancing labour relations, our new programme with CARE International in Sri Lanka aims to both strengthen livelihoods and create a tool for communities to significantly improve their living and working environment over time.
Promoting worker-management engagement in Sri Lanka
Despite significant increases in social welfare, living conditions on Sri Lankan tea estate still need to be improved, but workers lack communication channels to redress grievances with their employers resulting in unmet needs and aspirations causing serious repercussions for the sector’s productivity, profitability and sustainability.
CARE International has a successful track record of implementing Community Development Forums (CDF) on Sri Lankan estate, an innovative model which act like ‘mini – parliaments’ to facilitate dialogue between workers, management and broader communities living in the garden.
The CDF model opens up new channels of communication between stakeholders working on tea gardens in Sri Lanka, enabling important discussions and collective decisions about community development priorities and labour conditions. Everything is negotiated and decided in a transparent way. Management, tea pluckers and workers, unions, and community leaders are all represented; importantly women are given an equal role and encouraged to participate.
In Partnership with CARE International and plantation companies, Twinings aims to establish new CDFs on 7 tea estates to improve worker management relations and the working environment on the tea estates from which Twinings sources.
Through the CDFs the project also seeks to deliver capacity building and training on income-generating activities to improve the livelihoods of the workers, for example dairy farming, poultry farming, intercropping, home-gardening and mushroom farming. This will also ensure the sustainability of the CDFs on these estates.
By opening dialogue in this way, CDFs provide an effective means to identify improvements in workers’ living and working conditions and their community development as a whole. Our project aims to improve the lives of 3,500 workers on tea estates in this way, indirectly benefiting 16,000 family members.