The tea garden labourers of 24 tea gardens under the jurisdiction of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha(ACMS), Mangaldai Branch staged a two hour protest from 6-8 am in front of their respective factories and manager bungalows on Friday.
The tea estates which participated in the protest include Attarekhat,Dharamjuli,Swala,Borengajuli,Bhergaon,Krishna Susaibini,Ambica,Dimakuchi,Panery,Bamunjali,Orangajuli,Nonaipara,Bhutiachang,Hatigarh,Majuli,Ghagra,Khoirabari,Corammore,Chandana,Singrimari,Tangni.
“The Assam tea industry has agreed to pay interim relief of Rs 30 to workers from March 1, 2018 till the time the minimum wage issue is finalized which was decided during the minimum wages committee meeting .”,said Rajya Sabha MP cum Secretary of Mangaldai ACMS Branch, Santiuse Kujur.
The tea garden labourers taking part in the protest has expressed strong resentment for the dawdling tactics of the government in finalizing the minimum wages.
Kujur has also asked the government to expedite the finalization of minimum wages.”We exhort the government for immediate release of arrear wages of the tea garden labourers from March to July 2018 the delay in which will draw the wrath of the workers”, said President of ACMS Mangaldai Branch, Paban Nayak.
The tea garden ACMS units also submitted memorandums to their respective garden managers demanding three charter demands which include Interim Relief of Rs.30 from August 1 next, release of arrear wages and increase in daily wages from Rs 137 to Rs 350.
It is to be mentioned that Assam labour minister, Pallab Lochan Das had told the Assembly in February that the state government will use the Aykroyd formula, the method of fixing minimum wages stipulated by the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
The formula is attributed to Dr Aykroyd who worked on nutrition for about 30 years and was director of the nutrition division, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations, and the formula takes into account the basic needs of a human being for deciding wage hike.