Assam Tea Estate Workers See Wage Hike

Tea estate workers in Assam have reason to smile, even as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic that has been sweeping across estates since the second wave arrived in India.
 
The reason: Their wages have been hiked by 38 rupees (Rs) per day with retrospective effect from Feb. 23, 2021. Yet, it still falls short of what they would have liked to see fill their pockets every week when they are paid – but it’s a beginning.
 
With this hike, the daily wages of the workers in the Brahmaputra valley would go up to Rs 205 plus perks from the existing Rs 167, while their counterparts in poorer cousin Barak valley would get Rs 183 as against Rs 145 at present.
 
The last increase was by 22 percent way back in 2018 in Assam.
 
The outgoing government in its last cabinet meeting earlier in February – just before the elections in the state – had hiked the daily wage to Rs 217, entailing a Rs 50 raise, but the garden owners approached the Court, which put a stay on its implementation. The court left it to them to take a call, and the owners agreed to pay in the interim.
 
Post the March-April elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition retained power in Assam. The party and the opposition Congress had vigorously wooed the tea garden community with promises of largesse if they returned to power; the Congress had promised a whopping Rs 365 as daily wage.
 
The tea community, which constitutes nearly 20 percent of Assam’s population, has all along been a deciding factor in Assam elections, especially in the tea-rich eastern Assam districts, where a wage hike for tea workers has been a long-pending demand.
 
The government has said that the target of Rs 217 would be eventually met.
 
 
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      SECRETARIAT
      Address: 414, Institute of Quality Standard and Testing Technology for Agro-products of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, No. 12, Zhongguancun South Street, Haidian District, Beijing, China
      Email:typ@jgexpo.net
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      Fax:86-10-82106329
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