Monday, 30th October 2017

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Tea wage hike call

Several Opposition parties like CPI, CPM, CPI (M-L), Left Democratic Party and Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday extended their support to the Joint Action Committee for Tea Workers Wages (JACTWW) demand for hike in tea workers' daily wage to Rs 351.33 and a state- wide garden strike on Monday in support of this demand.

By ALI FAUZ HASSAN in Guwahati
  • Published 19.08.18
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Guwahati: Several Opposition parties like CPI, CPM, CPI (M-L), Left Democratic Party and Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday extended their support to the Joint Action Committee for Tea Workers Wages (JACTWW) demand for hike in tea workers' daily wage to Rs 351.33 and a state- wide garden strike on Monday in support of this demand.

JACTWW is a forum of eight tea workers and youth organisations - All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam, Akhil Bharatiya Chah Mazdoor Sangha, Assam Sangrami Chah Shramik Sangha, Chah Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam Tea Labour Union, Assam Majduri Shramik Union, Assam Mazdoor Union and All Adivasi Women Association of Assam - formed to demand a hike in tea workers' daily wage.

There are nearly eight lakh workers in more than 850 tea gardens in the state.

JACTWW and other tea workers organisations have been demanding a minimum wage of Rs 350 for tea workers, but following a meeting of the Minimum Wage Board, the state government asked the Labour Commissioner of Assam to determine the wage and the figure of Rs 351.33 was arrived at.

Leaders like Munin Mahanta of CPI, Deben Bhattacharya of CPM, Bhaben Choudhury of AAP, Guna Gogoi from the LDP and Bitu Gogoi of CPI(M-L), apart from members of JACTWW, attended a conference convened by JACTWW to arrive at a consensus on the demand of the wage hike.

The Congress, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) were also invited for the talks by JACTWW on the issue of tea workers' wage hike but they could not attend, as they were attending condolence meetings for former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, according to messages conveyed to the meet.

Several resolutions were adopted at the end of the conference to support the demand of tea workers' wage hike to Rs 351.33, submit a memorandum to the Assam chief minister and governor, to raise the issue through representatives in Parliament and support the statewide garden strike call on Monday.

Speaking at the conference, Mahanta said, "Tea workers comprise a large section of the population in the state. All organisations should come together to raise the issue of wage hike and its implementation at the earliest. Tea workers have been deprived of a just wage".

Choudhury said, "Health and education facilities should be made available to workers in the tea gardens. Schemes of the government are not reaching the workers".