GUWAHATI: The State Government, representatives of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) and other tea bodies decided to hike the daily wage of tea workers in the State by Rs 38 on Friday.
With this hike, the tea workers in the Brahmaputra Valley would get Rs 205 against the existing Rs 167 and the tea workers of Barak Valley would get Rs 183 against the existing Rs 145 with retrospective effect i.e. from February 23, 2021.
Earlier the government hiked the daily wage by Rs. 217. However, the decision could not be implemented following the court order. Therefore, the government after a threadbare discussion with the tea bodies following the demands of the tea workers decided to hike the daily wage to Rs. 205 and Rs. 183. True to the government's commitment and for the welfare of the tea garden workers the government would raise the remaining Rs 12 after initiating consultation with all stakeholders and exuded confidence that an acceptable solution will be found out very soon.
On February 23, 2021, the State Labourer Welfare Department issued a notification enhancing the daily wage of tea garden workers by an interim amount of Rs 50 till the finalization of minimum wages. The tea garden association challenged the notification in the Gauhati High Court on the ground of non-compliance with the statutory proviso under Clause (A) of Sub Section (A) of Section 5, Assam Amendment of Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
The High Court stopped short of staying the notification issued by the Government but gave the tea garden managements liberty to decide on it.
On Wednesday the Labour Welfare Department cancelled the notification and formed a new wage settlement committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad.
During the Assembly election, the Opposition did raise the tea garden workers' wage enhancement to Rs 351 as promised by the BJP earlier.