Tea workers protest pay delay
Workers of a tea estate in Alipurduar observed a strike and held a demonstration on Monday to protest against the delay in paying their wages.
Sources said the company which owns Kalchini tea estate in the district, was supposed to disburse a fortnight’s wages on January 21. As the workers didn’t receive their wages till Monday morning, they abstained from their duties.
As the day rolled, around 1,000 workers reached the garden’s office and resorted to a demonstration against the delay in the wage payment.
The garden has around 2,000 workers.
“The management didn’t deposit the wages in the workers’ bank accounts on the stipulated date. The workers waited for some days but today, they organised a demonstration. We have asked the management’s representatives to ensure that the wages are paid on time,” said Sabi Lama, the garden unit’s president of the Trinamul Cha Bagan Sramik Union.
As the protests continued, the management disbursed the wages in the afternoon.
“There was a problem in the bank regarding online payment. That is why the disbursal was delayed. We transferred wages to the bank accounts of each worker this afternoon,” said a managerial employee of the garden.
Senior trade union leaders said tea companies should not delay in paying wages, especially at this time.
“The new season is about to start and picking of tea leaves will begin next month. We want all tea estates to resume production so that they earn maximum revenue with the first flush tea,” said a leader.