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Discrepancy in interim wages of tea workers decried

By Staff Correspondent

SILCHAR, July 16 - The Barak Cha Sramik Union has criticised the Government assistance to enhance the interim wages for the tea labourers in the State.

Former Minister and now general secretary of the Union Ajit Singh told reporters at the office premises of the Union recently that the hike of Rs 30 in the interim wage and the claims of parity in the wages of tea labourers of Barak and Brahmaputra valley is largely untrue and farcical.

�Tea labourers of Barak Valley have been getting wage at the rate of Rs 115 and with the hike of Rs 30 they are likely to get Rs 145 which is a good step. But if we compare the wage received by the labourers in Brahmaputra valley, which stands at Rs 167 including the hike, the claims of uniformity of wages stands out to be a big joke in the interest of the labourers,� Singh said.

He added to inform that that the Barak Cha Sramik Union has been echoing the demand for settling the wages in equivalence between the two valleys for a long time. �This step has rather made a mockery of the pre-poll promises of wage parity in the State made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims to have huge concern for the tea labourers. He has failed to bring smiles in the faces of the tea growers,� the former minister maintained.

On the other hand, Lakhipur MLA and assistant general secretary of the union Rajdeep Goala has said that the interim agreement between the garden management body and the Barak Cha Sramik Union in the absence of the Minimum Wage Board done in 2015 elapsed on December 31, 2017. �Ideally, the step to interface and fix wages by the government should have come from January 1 this after the agreement got over. But it took more than six months time. The decision to implement the interim hike and its tenure has not been specified as yet,� Goala stated.

The Union has expressed concerns on the lack of ATMs in the tea gardens of Barak Valley which is affecting the labourers at large.

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