Tea garden workers of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), Mangaldai ACMS Branch, in Udalguri district and activists staged a dharna on Wednesday in the front of the tea garden managers office premise with a demand to fix the wage of the tea garden workers up to Rs 350. The protesting leaders said that tea garden workers’ unions had persisted with their demand of hike in daily wages to Rs. 350 and appealed to the authority concerned several times but their demands had turned into deaf ears. They added that both the Centre and State governments do not think about the welfare of the tea workers’ community, except when they need them as vote bank. Only during the period of election, political party leaders come to tea garden areas and give assurance to the labourers that their demands would be fulfilled. But after the election, they all forget their assurances. Being aggrieved, workers of Borengajuli, Dimakuchi, Bamonjuli, Orangajuli, Nonaipara, Bhooteachang, Corramore, Hattigor, Bhergaon, Paneri and many gardens under ACMS Branch Mangaldai came out to protest and shouted slogans against the tea company owners, State Labour Minister.
The units under Managldai ACMS Branch submitted memorandum to the State Labour Minister through the garden managers and a copy to Labour Commissioner, reiterating their demand for implementation of the State’s Minimum Wage Act in the tea plantations of Assam. In a memorandum, it demanded payment of wages and bonus to the tea workers of the State as soon as possible, action against defaulting tea estates and hiking minimum daily wage for tea workers to Rs 350.
Mangaldai ACMS Branch Organizing Secretary, Siman Nag said, “Six months have passed but the government hasn’t taken any initiative regarding the wage hike of tea workers. The government had prepared a wages board of which Labour Minister, Pallab Lochan Das himself was the Chairman of the board yet nothing so far has taken place regarding wage hike. The BJP government had been assuring till now but not a single task executed for the welfare of the tea workers. The state government had taken resolution to hike the tea workers wage.