By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, February 26: The Consultative Committee of Planters Association (CCPA) and Assam Chah Majdoor Sangha (ACMS) today inked a bilateral agreement, effecting a hike in the wages of daily laboures in tea gardens.
According to the three-year agreement, the wages with effect from January 1 this year will be Rs 115. It will be raised to Rs 126 with effect from January 1 next year and then to Rs 137 in the third year.
The tea workers were entitled for a daily wage of Rs 94 as per the previous agreement. The wage structure will include cash and fringe benefits, sources said.
“However, if the State government notifies the minimum wages, it will become applicable as per law prospectively,” said an industry source.
The attendance allowance of Re 1 per day – subject to five days work – will continue.
Last month, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had created a flutter in the tea industry asking the Labour department to ensure compliance of the minimum wage of Rs 169 in all industries.
While the communiqué specifically mentioned that the minimum wages also applies for the daily wage workers in tea gardens, the tea industry was left confounded as it felt that the move was “arbitrary” and “cannot be done like this.”
The State government had recently constituted a Minimum Wages Board which will sit with various stakeholders and negotiate with the workers for fixation of the new minimum wage.