Hundreds of tea gardens workers under the banner of All Tea Tribe Students’ Association (ATTSA) on Friday staged a protest at Bokpara tea estate in Dibrugarh seeking hike of minimum daily wage to Rs 351 from the current wage of Rs 167.
The agitators holding play cards and banners shouted slogan against the BJP government.
The workers also burnt the effigies of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and labour and tea tribes welfare minister Pallab Lochan Das accusing them of neglecting the tea workers of the state.
The workers also raised slogans against the BJP-led government for failing to fulfill its 2016 pre-poll promise of hiking tea garden workers wages to Rs 350.
Lakhindra Kurmi, publicity Secretary of Dibrugarh district said, “They are dissatisfied with the BJP government because before election they promised us to hike the minimum wage up to Rs 350 but till date the hike in minimum wage has not been implemented. The BJP government betrayed us,”.
Until recently the tea garden workers in the Brahmaputra valley were paid a daily wage of Rs 137. On July 8, the state government hiked the wages of tea garden workers by Rs 30 taking it to Rs 167. Similarly the wages of garden workers in the Barak Valley were hiked to Rs 145 from Rs 115.
Though the hike was termed as an interim move by the government as the one-man committee headed by additional chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna is yet to give its recommendations, there was widespread discontentment among the tea garden workers considering the fact that the BJP had promised to increase the wages to Rs 350 per day ahead of the 2016 assembly polls, if voted to power.