DIBRUGARH: Tea workers of the Apeejay Tea Group-owned tea gardens in the State on Wednesday staged protests over non-payment of salaries.
In Dibrugarh, workers of Kharjan tea estate in Panitola staged a protest under the banner of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS). The workers holding placards and banners protested against the management of the tea garden. Former Congress MLA and ACMS central vice-president Raju Sahu led the protest of the workers at the Kharjan tea estate.
Raju Sahu said, "Workers of all Apeejay owned tea gardens are participating in the protest in their respective gardens. The Apeejay group owns 17 tea gardens in Assam. The company has failed to pay the salaries of the staff and workers for the last several months. Not only that, they have defaulted in payment of provident fund and gratuity to its employees that amounts to several crores."
"There are other issues too like lack of housing facilities for the workers, dilapidated condition of existing staff quarters and absence of drinking water facilities. The workers have been seeking solutions to these issues for the last several years but the management has failed to address these problems. The workers have been left with no option but to agitate," he added. The ACMS leader also announced a series of agitations against the Apeejay Tea Group in the coming days.
"On May 17, the ACMS, which is the largest tea workers' union of the State, will stage dharna in front of the assistant labour commissioner office in every district where the Apeejay-owned tea gardens are situated. It will be followed by a sit-in in front of the labour commissioner office in Guwahati on May 31 while on June 8, a 24-hour lockdown in all 17 tea gardens of the Apeejay group has been called," he informed.