DIBRUGARH, March 12 - The Assam Tea Tribes Students� Association (ATTSA) of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh district today jointly organized a three-hour-long demonstration in front of the office of the Assam branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA), Zone 1 at Chaulkhowa here in support of their demand for hike in the wages of the workers to Rs 400 and for making Sundays paid holidays.
Condemning the BJP-led State government and the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA) for failing to implement the Minimum Wages Act in plantations, the student body lamented that till date no separate law was enacted to determine the daily minimum wages of the tea garden workers. The student body demanded that the wage of the workers must be hiked to Rs 400 and further urged upon the government and the planters� body to make Sundays a paid holiday.
ATTSA leader Sonu Oraon said that survival for plantation workers and their dependants is only becoming grimmer. �With the rise in cost of living, tea garden workers are struggling to make their ends meet with the present daily wage of Rs 167. Our demand is that workers must draw a daily wage of Rs 400 as of today and must also get the benefit of a paid holiday for Sundays,� he said.
The student body later submitted a memorandum to the Secretary, ABITA, Zone I, Chaulkhowa. The memorandum was signed by the presidents and secretaries of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh district. ATTSA central organizing secretary Basanta Kurmi and central executive members Ranjit Thakur and Lazar Nanda were also among the protesters.