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Wages of Tripura Tea garden Workers not increased amid High Court’s order
TIWN Jan 18, 2020
Wages of Tripura Tea garden Workers not increased amid High Court’s order
PHOTO : Tea garden workers working in Durga Bari tea-gardens. TIWN File Photo.

AGARTALA, Jan 18 (TIWN): Salary of Tea Workers is not raised till now, though the apprized date has passed long back. Similar is the condition of the staff working at the gardens. The condition of the Tea Workers is so poor that they find no direction to demand their basic rights. The prime reason behind this is that none of the Tea Workers Association’s are working presently.

On December 17, 2019 deputation was placed to the Dept of Labour demanding deserve wages of the workers who are working in various tea gardens of Tripura.Placing a deputation to the Labour Dept Director, the tea workers representatives told media that the previous Left Govt made a cabinet decision after observing the overall wages of the workers of tea gardens across India. But due to election, it could not be implemented. When BJP Govt came in power, the owners files a case in High Court whereas High Court rejected the plea saying this Rs. 176 minimum wage must be given.But till date, nothing was implemented and thus to remind the Govt about its duty towards the working class, the deputation was placed.Also there are more guidelines given by High Court about wages.

There are about 52 Tea gardens in the state presently other than few tea gardens run by Tea Board, and many small gardens where the Owner and workers are almost same. They run the family solely on the income from the tea garden. Therefore, no question arises on increasing the basic salary. The wages of the tea garden employees depends on three conditions, i.e Owner, Association and the Government. The labour department deals with all these from the government’s side. After every 3 years the wages of the tea garden employees is increased. The highest increase was made in the year 2015. At that time the salary was increased from Rs.72 to Rs.105 per day. Though the salary was raised by three steps, Rs.72 to Rs.83 that year only, then later Rs.92 to Rs.105 in the year 2015. The tri-party meeting according to rule was scheduled to be on 2018-2019. 2019-2020 year also passed but still no meeting has been held on this issue. And therefore the increase in wage has been put on a hold from 22 years. The Owners won’t increase wages alone, for that association and government should be present together, and a meeting should be held regarding this.

Thousand tea garden workers are suffering due to this. The salary that the tea workers and labourers get is very little and also the facilities are very less. Within all these the tri-party meeting has also stuck. From past 22 months the labour department has not put an eye on the matter and showed no concern for the labourers and workers.

Where the prices of the commodities have been raised high at an alarming rate, the wages of the labourers and workers are constant. 

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