SILCHAR, June 26 - In a bid to break the system to keep tea workers poor and deprived and to echo the demands of the plantation workers, the Bharatiya Cha Mazdoor Sangh, Barak Valley unit affiliated by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangha (BMS) formed its new committee, which would work for the interest of the tea labourers working in the tea gardens of Barak Valley.
The new committee headed by Ghanshyam Pandey consists of 37 members, including 22 executive members.
Somesh Biswas, State president of BMS said that since many years the Barak Cha Sramik Union affiliated to the INTUC has been working in the Valley, but could not register satisfactory performance for the welfare of the tea labourers. The new committee would look to form Bagan Panchayats in each tea garden of the Valley in order to garner support towards their legitimate claims, Biswas said. �As per a ruling from the Supreme Court, there is a provision of equal pay for equal work. But the labourers of Barak Valley have been treated as a deprived lot in all quarters. Forget medicines, there are gardens sans a single doctor and the situation has not changed in the past many years. This new committee shall place demands for a fine of Rs 50 lakh per year instead of a nominal amount of Rs 500, which is applicable now for gardens without doctors and medicines,� Biswas maintained.
Also, he said that at a time when there was punishment for child labour, the offence is prevalent in the tea gardens which must be stopped at the earliest. Dilip Kumar, one of the executive members of the new committee said, �we shall no longer allow our fellow brothers to be exploited. It is time we must raise our voices for equal pay against equal work.�