Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Dhoedaam tea estate workers seek dues

Workers threatened to launch an agitation if their demand was not fulfilled

By Manoj Kumar Ojha in Doomdooma
  • Published 20.07.19, 1:16 AM
  • Updated 20.07.19, 1:16 AM
  • a min read
Workers in the tea estate. Picture by Manoj Kumar Ojha

The workers of Dhoedaam tea estate in Tinsukia district under the Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA) on Friday demanded that their dues be cleared by the month end.

The workers threatened to launch an agitation if their demand was not fulfilled.

James Warren Tea Limited runs seven tea estates across the state. They are Balijan, Deamoolie, Dhoedaam, Rajah Alli, Thowra, Tippuk and Zaloni tea estates.

Dhoedaam tea estate’s produces are popular in the UK, Pakistan and Germany among other countries.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi did nothing to strengthen the infrastructure of the tea estates here. Our wages of the past 19 months are due. Former tea tribes welfare and labour minister Pallab Lochan Das also did not take the issue of minimum wage seriously,” said ATTSA’s Doomdooma unit secretary Irot Tanti.

“How can the workers keep on working if their dues are not cleared? We have held meetings to resolve the matter but no initiative has been taken to clear the dues,” Tanti added.

On Thursday, a section of tea workers cordoned off the estate, seeking wage arrears, a hike in daily wages to Rs 351, infrastructure development and establishment of a garden hospital and a school.

“We spoke to the garden authorities and urged them to fix a deadline for the dues’ clearance,” a worker said.

The Minimum Wages Advisory Board in a meeting held on March 7, 2018, decided to fix the minimum wage of tea garden workers at Rs 351 but the workers are still getting a daily wage of Rs 137.

An official of Dhoedaam tea estate said, “We are discussing the issue with our union and workers. A gang of miscreants came here on Thursday to instigate the workers and create trouble but everything is fine now.”

“The matter will be settled by July 31. According to the agreement, the wages have gone up with effect from March. We will provide arrears from March to July,” he added.

The corporate office of the tea estate in Calcutta did not respond to the email or call from this correspondent.