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Tea workers stage protest, reiterate demand to hike daily wages

A Correspondent
Tezpur, July 3: Thousands of activists of Akhil Bharatiya Chah Mazdoor Sangha Assam (ABCMS), Rangapara chapter, in Sonitpur district staged a dharna on Tuesday in the front of the Assistant Labour Commissioner office, zone-III Tezpur, with a demand to fix the wage of the tea garden workers up to Rs 350. The protesting leaders said that tea garden workers’ unions had persisted with their demand of hike in daily wages to Rs. 350 and appealed to the authority concerned several times but their demands had turned into deaf ears. They added that both the Centre and State governments do not think about the welfare of the tea workers’ community, except when they need them as vote bank. Only during the period of election, political party leaders come to tea garden areas and give assurance to the labourers that their demands would be fulfilled. But after the election, they all forget their assurances. Being aggrieved, workers of tea gardens came out to protest and shouted slogans against the State Labour Minister and Chief Minister.

The Sangha submitted memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Sonitpur, reiterating their demand for implementation of the State’s Minimum Wage Act in the tea plantations of Assam. In a memorandum, it demanded payment of wages and bonus to the tea workers of the State as soon as possible, action against defaulting tea estates and hiking minimum daily wage for tea workers to Rs 350.

General secretary of ABCMS, Royal Sorang said, “It is surprising that the State Government is not taking any initiative in implementing the minimum wages Act, 1948 in the State’s tea gardens.” He also said that the present wages of the tea garden workers hardly meet out the expenditure of the workers. “We expect the government to settle the legitimate demand and fulfil all promises made,” he added.

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