DOOMDOOMA, Sept 25 - Following the tradition of previous years, managements of various tea gardens in Doomdooma circle have started disbursing bonus payments to the labourers and workers in the wake of Durga Puja.
The process of disbursement of bonus is expected to be completed on or before September 30.
Tea majors like Mcleod Russel, James Warren, Assam Company, Warren Tea, Apeejay Surendra etc have agreed to pay 20% bonus to the labourers. A few of these companies have agreed to pay the bonus at a time while another few companies expressed their desire to pay the bonus in two instalments.
The process of disbursement of bonus in the tea gardens of Doomdooma circle has been going on peacefully, except for a few minor incidents.
On Thursday, the labourers of Rupai Tea Estate of Warren Tea Limited refused to accept the bonus as the company decided to pay the bonus in two instalments. However, the labourers demanded payment of the bonus at one go.
Later, the manager of the garden pacified the labourers with the help of police by saying that he would take a decision after consulting the higher authority of the company within a week.
On the other hand on Saturday, the same situation arose at Samdang TE of Mcleod Russel India Ltd at the time of disbursement of bonus. The company expressed it�s desire to pay 14% bonus now and the rest 6% would be paid later. But the labourers opposed this decision.
Later, the management in the presence of an executive magistrate gave the labourers a written assurance that the labourers would get the rest 6% bonus with interest.
It may be mentioned here that being a majority union, the tea companies have been signing bonus agreements with the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) for a long period.
For the record, ACMS is affiliated to INTUC, which is a trade union of INC. But now, BJP trade union, i.e., Bharatiya Chah Mazdoor Sangha (BCMS) is trying to penetrate into ACMS strongholds in the tea gardens of Upper Assam and the BCMS members are opposing the decisions which have already been made with the ACMS regarding disbursement of bonus.