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Tea Pickers - Sri Lanka

Recently (January 2019), a collective of local unions and activists demonstrated in 30 different locations in Sri Lanka, asking farms to increase the minimum wage of tea plantation laborers to 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees (about 4.85 euros) the current salary daily minimum. Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tea producer in the world and also the second largest exporter. Most of the 500,000 tea laborers are ethnic Tamils ​​descended from cheap labor imported from India by British colonialists in the nineteenth century, and almost all of those who collect leaves are women. In many cases, they have to collect 16 to 18 kg of tea a day to earn their daily pay. In 2016, their daily pay was raised to 500 rupees. But over the years, the Sri Lankan rupiah has devalued as the cost of living has increased. As a result, the poverty level among tea laborers has increased, although the general poverty rate in Sri Lanka has decreased over the past few decades.
Tea laborers have no choice but to continue fighting for a fair salary if they do not want to succumb to extreme poverty. SRI LANKA 2019
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