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Companies at liberty to pay interim-wage hike to their workers in tea gardens: Gauhati HC

The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday ruled that the managements of tea gardens would be at liberty to pay the interim-wage hike to their workers till the issue is finally decided by the Court.

tea gardens

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 March 2021 12:46 AM GMT

* Next hearing slated on April 23

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday ruled that the managements of tea gardens would be at liberty to pay the interim-wage hike to their workers till the issue is finally decided by the Court.

The State Labour Welfare department, through a notification on February 23, 2021 had enhanced the minimum wage of Rs 167 daily by an "interim amount" of Rs 50, taking it to Rs 217 daily. The tea community has been asking for a wage hike of Rs 351 daily.

Challenging the legal validity of the Labour department's notification on interim-wage hike for tea workers, the Indian Tea Association and 17 tea companies recently approached the Gauhati High Court and filed a petition.

Hearing this petition, the High Court ruled that liberty should be given to the petitioners (tea companies) to pay their workmen any interim enhancement of their wages as they deem proper, till the issue is finally decided by the Court. The High Court has fixed April 23 as the next date for hearing of the case.

After admitting the petition on March 9, the Gauhati High Court said that no "coercive action" should be taken against the tea companies for not complying with wage revision notification of tea garden workers in the State.

Both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress have been attempting to connect with the tea community which forms over 20 per cent of the State's population. Spread over at least 800 tea gardens, the tea community is seen as a poll-deciding factor in at least 30 out of the 126 Assembly constituencies.

In protest against the "failure of the government to address the problems of tea workers", the Assam Tea Tribes' Students' Association (ATTSA) has announced a complete shutdown of the tea gardens across the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys on March 22.

Also Read: 18 Tea Estates of Assam: Everything to Know About Assam Tea Gardens

Also watch: Environmental Activists Demand National Park Status for Jeypore Rain Forests in Assam



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