DIBRUGARH, Nov 18 � The All Adivasi Students� Association of Assam (AASAA) has asked the Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA) to ensure that Constitutional laws of the land like the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the Plantation Labour Act, 1951 are adhered to in the tea plantations.
The student body of the Adivasis today warned the planters� association against the exploitation of workers in the plantations by denying them legitimate wages. The AASAA today staged a demonstration in front of the office of the ABITA, Zone I, at Choulkhowa near here, demanding hike in the wages of tea garden workers to Rs 330. �If tea estates in South India can afford to pay wages of Rs 254, the planters in Assam can also afford paying similar wages here. Considering the profit of the tea industry and taking into account the rising cost of living, wages have to be increased,� AASAA president Raphael Kujur said.
The AASAA also submitted a memorandum to the ABITA, asking it to pay wages according to the rules and offer benefits to the tea garden workers as prescribed by the laws. They also demanded of the tea planters to make Sunday a paid holiday.
In the event of failure on the part of the tea planters, the AASAA warned that it would take up agitational programmes across the State.