The Alton and Glenugie plantation action committees and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) are holding a demonstration in Upcot at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 28. It will demand the reinstatement of all sacked Alton plantation workers and the dropping of frame-up cases against 22 workers at the estate.
In February last year, 22 workers were arrested at Alton Estate in Upcot on bogus charges of physically assaulting an estate manager and damaging his residence. The company also summarily sacked 38 workers over the same allegations without even holding an inquiry.
The trade unions aided and abetted this witch hunt in a conspiracy with the company and police. The victimisation is still continuing with the blessing of the Colombo government.
It is eighteen months since the case was originally filed, but no one has heard anything about the case. In fact, police claim that the attorney general has not yet filed any charges, an indication of the frame-up character of the allegations.
The company unleashed this ruthless victimisation not just to intimidate the Alton workers but Sri Lanka’s entire plantation workforce. It is part of a plan to impose even harsher workloads in the estates and to drive-up company profits.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the plantation workers’ Action Committee have consistently fought to defend the victimised Alton workers. In order to fight for their social and democratic rights workers must build their own action committees, independent of the trade unions, all capitalist parties and their supporters. This is necessary as part of the struggle to unite with all their class brothers and sisters across the country and to fight for socialist policies. We urge workers and youth to support and build this campaign.
Picketing will be held in Upcot Town at 2 p.m., on Sunday August 28.