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Wage revision letter for Ramjhora garden

Alipurduar, Sept. 23: The deputy labour commissioner has issued a letter to the management of Ramjhora Tea Estate asking them to pay revised wages to workers and the management will hold a meeting on this on October 4.

After a tripartite agreement was signed last year among the labour department, the trade unions and the management of various tea gardens on November 4, it was decided that the wage of a worker in the tea gardens from April 2011 would become Rs 85.

It was to be raised further to Rs 90 from April this year.

However, the workers in Ramjhora Tea Estate have been getting Rs 67 a day since October 2010 when the garden was opened after being locked for eight years.

The workers in Ramjhora did not ask for a hike earlier as they were expecting the management to raise the wage on its own, but since nothing happened the trade union approached the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri.

The workers started gate meetings everyday before work from mid-August demanding a hike as Durga Puja was approaching.

The workers had demanded a date from the manager to discuss a wage issue but the manager said their pay would be increased from 2013.

The trade union leaders then met Smaraki Mahapatra, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri. Mahapatro immediately asked the labour department officials to intervene.

Joint labour commissioner Md. Rizwan mentioned that there was no question of any discussion with the management as the matter had been settled in the tripartite agreement.

He instructed the deputy labour commissioner to direct the garden management to pay wages according to the agreement signed at the tripartite meeting last year and consequently the letter was issued to the garden.

The October 4 meeting between the workers and the garden management will be held in the office of the Dooars Branch of the Indian Tea Association in Binnaguri.

Chandan Dasgupta, the deputy labour commissioner of Jalpaiguri, said: I have issued a directive to the management of Ramjhora Tea Estate to pay the wage according to the agreement signed in the tripartite meeting last year. When it is settled, the amount of wage should be uniform in all gardens.

Hemant Popli, the manager of Ramjhora, said: I have received the letter and on October 4 there will be a meeting in the DBITA Binnaguri.