Tea tribe protest
Tea garden workers stage protest. (File image)

Amid nationwide lockdown to contain coronavirus, workers of Tippuk tea estate in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Tuesday staged a protest at the tea estate demanding release of their wages and ration.

Around one thousand workers staged demonstration in front of the executive office of Tipuk tea estate in support of their demands.

The workers shouted slogan against the management and some of them got into in heated debate with the management.

Police tried to intervene but failed to convince the agitated workers.

“We are not getting full wages and full ration. The management has been curtailing the benefits which we should get. We are getting 1 kg ration during the lockdown period but we should get 3 kg ration. During lockdown, the workers have sprayed medicines in the tea bushes and worked for 12 days but they are getting the wage for seven days,” a worker alleged.

Some of the workers are having a tough time due to the lockdown.

“We should get full wages because we are not responsible for lockdown. We are daily wage earner and fully dependent on our daily wages. Due to lockdown we are having tough time and we demand that our full wages be released,” said another worker.

After Assam government took a decision to open the tea gardens, the gardens are functioning amid lockdown with minimum workers.

The tea industry in Assam has suffered huge loss due to the nationwide lockdown.

ATTSA, central executive member, Amit Karmakar said, “The workers of Tippuk tea estate gheraoed the executive office of the tea estate because they have not received the full wages.”

“Those who worked for 12 days during lockdown they are also not getting full wages for those days. We demand that the management should sort out the issue and released the full payment,” he said.

He said the tea workers are facing lots of problem due to the lockdown because they are not getting the full wages.

The management of Tippuk tea estate said that they would discuss the matter and tried to solve the issue.

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com