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Bengal tea workers forced to accept interim wage hike, say unions

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Protesting against the hike in the daily wages of tea garden workers by only Rs 17.50 in Bengal, central trade unions on Friday accused the of delaying finalising the wage agreement and forcing workers to accept the interim relief.

A joint forum comprising Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Indian National Trade Union Congress, All Trade Union Congress, Trade Union Coordination Centre, United Trade Union and All Central Council of Trade Unions has threatened to intensify the protests unless wage agreement is finalised at the earliest.

The government announced the interim hike to increase the remuneration of tea workers' from Rs 132.50 to Rs 150 with effect from January 1, 2018.

"We are against this interim hike of Rs 17.50. The state unilaterally announced this as an interim measure without discussing it in the Joint Forum of Trade Unions in the tea sector opposed this and did not accept. Now, state government, local administration are forcing workers to accept this hike," CITU told reporters here.

Usually, a wage agreement for tea workers is executed for a three-year period and the last agreement had expired on March 31, 2017.

Sahu also alleged tea garden owners with support of had stopped rations, as a part of wage, and started giving ration from the Food Security Mission Programme.

"Tea workers are supposed to get Rs 660 per month as a value of ration that they used to get earlier. Unfortunately, workers are still deprived of this," he said.

About 4.5 lakh tea garden workers in the north Bengal are in distress, said.

Trade unions also demanded reopening of 30 gardens which were shut down.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 19:28 IST
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