ATTSA stages protest seeking wage hike for tea workers

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HT Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, Sept 16: The Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA) on Wednesday staged protest across the tea gardens of upper Assam seeking wage hike.

Hundreds of tea workers holding play cards and banners staged protest at the management office of Sessa and Bokpara tea estate of Dibrugarh seeking wage hike of Rs 351 per day.

The protesters raised slogans against the government for not fulfilling the demand to increase the minimum wage of the tea workers.

At present, the tea garden workers in the Brahmaputra valley are paid a daily wage of RS 167 while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting a wage of RS 145 per day.

Lakhindra Kurmi, district unit Secretary of ATTSA said, “The BJP government have committed to increase the minimum wage of tea workers upto Rs 351 per day but till date they have not fulfilled their promise. The BJP government have promised this before election to ‘woo’ the tea tribes voters. We are very dissatisfied with the government role and demand them to increase the minimum wages of the tea workers as soon as possible.”

The tea tribe community in Assam constitutes around 20 per cent (70 lakh) of the state’s 3.5 core population, has always played a crucial role in sealing electoral outcomes, both in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

However, tea garden workers rue the fact that while political parties always try to woo the community with assurances of hike minimum wage and other benefits before every election. After election was over they tend to go silent on their promises.

“We are very much unhappy with the BJP government owing to their failure to increase the minimum daily wage of a workers. They have assured that they will provide Rs 351 per day minimum wage to a workers but till date nothing has happened. If our demand is not met within a short time then we will intensify our movement against the government.”

Similarly, Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) also staged protest across the tea estates of upper Assam demand a minimum wage hike of Rs 351 per day.

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