GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - Citing that almost all the tea companies are paying bonus at the rate of 20 per cent to their workers, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) today asked the Assam Tea Corporation Limited to follow suit.
ACMS, the largest trade union of tea garden workers of the region, also said it was �worried� that the ATCL was yet to declare the rate of bonus it will give its workers this festive season.
�About two-thirds of the gardens have already started releasing the bonus. The remaining gardens will also do so in the next few days. But we are worried that the ATCL is yet to declare its bonus rate. Like other gardens, it (ATCL) should also give 20 per cent bonus to its workers,� ACMS president Paban Singh Ghatowar told The Assam Tribune.
In many gardens, workers are opting for a �split-bonus� � the payment is being split (like 15 pc-5 pc or 17 pc-3 pc) and a part of it is released now and the remaining would be released in January.
Ghatowar, however, said there has been no �issues of confrontation� this time and the garden managements are cooperating.
Assam has about 850 large and medium-size tea gardens. The gardens employ around 8 lakh workers, of whom around 5.5 lakh are permanent. The ATCL has around 14 gardens which employ over 10,000 workers.