TINSUKIA: The tea giant Apeejay Tea allegedly playing a deceiving game with its employees on the issue of salary payment after it came to light that the executive officers of the company had already drawn full salary for the month of March while insisting on its employees to draw 70 per cent of salary on the plea of zero sale proceeds in the face of production shutdown. Such unethical act on the part of the management has been vehemently condemned by the Assam Chah Karmachari Sangha (ACKS).
Girish Chandra Borpatra Gohain, general secretary of ACKS, while talking to The Sentinel, said, “The management of Apeejay Tea had never consulted with ACKS prior to its unilateral decision to pay 70 per cent salary to its employees and the deal was unjust and unfair. The management did not maintain rationality and uniformity in different gardens while awarding the wages and such policy of the management will lead to anarchy and indiscipline among the garden employees.”
He wondered how the management attempted to violate the standing directives of the government that stated not to deduct wages and salaries for the period under closure due to lockdown in view of the outbreak of COVID-19. The ACKS would take up the wage issue with the departments concerned after 10th of the month as outlined in Payment of Wages Act 1936, Borpatra Gohain affirmed.
Meanwhile, following publication by The Sentinel on Apeejay’s wage issue (dated April 8, 2020), a senior executive of the company visited several gardens to persuade the employees to accept the company’s terms, which reportedly they declined. They were adamant to accept nothing less than 100 per cent, said an employee.